How I looked after my mental health in New York

It’s easy to get carried away with excitement when you have a big trip coming up. As fun as travelling is, it can also be quite stressful so I put measures in place to make my trips as stress-free as they can be.

This takes a little planning, but it takes the worry out of your holiday and makes it easier all around. So I’d like to share with you some ways I looked after my mental health in New York – in the hope that it might inspire you to do the same on your next trip.

  1. Planned a travel itinerary. Like most cities there is A LOT to do, and in New York there’s three times that. Planning out what we wanted to do each day, took the indecision out of the break. It also meant we didn’t waste time pondering what to do.
  2. We were adaptable. Try not to be disheartened if things don’t go to plan. On our second day it rained so we were unable to go ice skating as per our schedule, we moved managed to squeeze this into our final day. One hour’s worth of ice skating was better than not going at all.
  3. Allowed time to have breaks. Naturally your energy levels are going to vary throughout the day. We allowed ourselves to take coffee breaks so we could re-group this made us feel much better and prepared us for our next sight-seeing adventures. We also allowed time to go back to the hotel and re-energise.
  4. I made a packing list. This takes stress out of deciding what to bring.
  5. I packed my passport and suitcase a couple of nights before. I always get anxiety about forgetting important things and have stress dreams about it in the run up. Packing a couple of days before takes the pressure off you forgetting, because you have plenty of time to prepare.
  6. I budgeted my money. I worked out how much I had to spend per day and tried to stick to that. I gave myself the bare minimum per day and left a little extra in the pot in case I went over (which I did) but this didn’t cause me worry because I’d allowed extra in case I needed it.
  7. I made sure I was comfortable. I packed comfy clothing and shoes as I knew we would be doing a lot of walking, I wanted to feel warm and comfortable.
  8. Prepared for the plane journey. Seven hours is a long time to spend on a plane, so it’s important you are comfortable. Our return flight was overnight, so I bought a travel pillow in the airport. This was a god send as I slept really well on the plane and woke up with half an hour to go.

How do you look after your mental health when you go abroad? I’d love to know in the comments below.

READ MORE: New York State of Mind: Three days in the city that never sleeps – Part 1

READ MORE: New York State of Mind: Three days in the city that never sleeps – Part 2

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