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Holidays and Depression

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 6 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Holiday Depression Travel Mood Planning

If you're suffering from depression, your friends, your family and even your doctor may tell you that what you need is a holiday. They may be right, but organising a holiday and motivating yourself to go through with it can still be hard. This simple guide makes it easier to manage. When you take away the stress of doing something different, you can get a break that really helps.

Getting Started

If you've suffered from depression for sometime, you'll know that one of the most important things to do is to pace yourself. Don't try to organise things at the last minute and only allow yourself to go away on impulse if somebody else is taking care of the arrangements. If you plan to travel with family members or friends, ask if they can take care of the planning. Let them know which decisions it's important to you to be involved in.

By planning well ahead, you can make sure that you're not still feeling tired from that when the time for your break begins. It's easier to plan if you break thins down into manageable stages.

  • Choose your destination - Look for somewhere that's comfortably within your budget, to avoid financial worries. A familiar destination can minimise stress. Sunny holidays often help to ease depression.
  • Choose your accommodation - Look for a place that isn't going to be too noisy. Use the internet to search for nearby cafés where you can get food if you don't feel up to eating at standard times.
  • Pick your dates - If you need time off work, talk to your boss before you start planning. Choose a time that's distant from other tiring activities.
  • Book your travel - It can be worth paying a bit more to make your journey as simple as possible. You may prefer to travel by train to avoid the stress of airports. If you do so, consider reserving a seat in the quiet coach.
  • Plan your packing - It's much easier to sort out what you need well in advance. This will give you time to make new purchases and do your laundry if you find it hard to be active every day.

Things to Consider

Even for a depressed person, planning a holiday can be exciting, and you may find yourself wanting to party. It could be just the thing to lift your mood. It could, however, also prove exhausting, so try to give yourself plenty of options. Don't worry about what other people think you should do - you are the person whom this is supposed to be for.

Because travel can leave you feeling worn out, and because the thought of going home from a break you're enjoying can be grim, it's best to plan a holiday that's at least two weeks long. This will give you time to relax and feel properly liberated from your day to day situation. If it's difficult to get time off work, ask if you can sacrifice some pay for a few extra days of holiday. Remind your boss that you will probably come back refreshed and ready to be more productive.

If you are travelling with your children, look for a hotel that offers a babysitting service. Set aside some money for it ahead of time. This will make it much easier for you to get time to yourself, and it will mean you don't have to worry about your low mood spoiling things for your kids. Many hotels run all sorts of great kids' activities.

Finally, don't feel obliged to have a good time. There is no right or wrong way to experience a holiday. Just take it easy and let events unfold as they will. Even if you do nothing but sit in the sun for two weeks, the chances are that you'll feel better for it.

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