Travelling has its major ups: the views, the hikes, the culture, the independence, meeting new and interesting people from all around the world – the list is endless. But what about the times it’s not as perfect as it’s portrayed online? Wellness Apps are a great way to refocus when travelling.
What do you do when you experience some lows? Whether it’s homesickness or the anxiety of reaching a different destination, it’s impossible – even in the most wonderful of places – to feel upbeat constantly, and it’s SO important to look after yourself on the occasions you need some downtime.
We’re lucky to be blessed with a wealth of options to help us if we’re across the globe, solely in the palm of our hand. Phoning friends and family have never been so easy, and luckily for us, technology has thought of everything when it comes to self-care on the move.
Are you going travelling? Check out what people don’t tell you about solo travel.
Here are our top five wellness apps to have downloaded and ready to go for the times you need to give yourself some love. Remember – these aren’t JUST limited to when you’re travelling. Feel free to give them a try during these unexpected, ever-changing times and let us know your thoughts!
Top 5 Wellness Apps
Headspace – Meditation and Sleepcasts
Headspace, hands down, is one of my favourite apps to have downloaded whether abroad or at home. I have to give the app MAJOR credit for giving me a whole lotta peace in the times that my mind has been whirring.
I’ve always found it difficult to sleep and there’s nothing worse than arriving in a new destination, exhausted and having a brain that for some reason can’t switch off. Headspace is an app that has a variety of services both on the free and the paid-for version that help you find peace in times of trouble or simply gain some mindful tools to add to your daily routine.
It offers a range of options from Mindfulness-based Techniques and Support to courses which help you gain perspective over challenging life situations. You also have the option of downloading some of the programmes offline, so if you’re on that long bus ride and need to relax, you can still listen without data.
That’s not all – It also has a whole page dedicated to sleep which for me has been a LIFESAVER. I can personally vouch for the “Midnight Launderette” Sleepcast, which helps you imagine a peaceful scenario (people visiting a launderette in this case!) to a calming voice so you end up falling asleep easily.
During this pandemic, I’ve found it especially hard to sleep, my mind continuously trying to fill the silence with worry and so more often than not, the Sleepcasts have genuinely helped me drift off and wake up feeling better.
Wysa – Mental Health Support
Therapy can be expensive and if you’re feeling apprehensive to go down that route or feel like you need an extra coping mechanism whilst you are abroad, Wysa could be a fantastic option for you.
Using the latest technology, Wysa is an “AI life coach” that reacts and responds to you in times of need – essentially a little virtual, emotionally intelligent robot. Your identity remains anonymous and the app uses CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), DBT, Yoga and Meditation, encouraging you to manage a range of mental health anxieties in a conversational way, whilst helping you through challenges you may find difficulty in dealing with yourself.
It also provides a therapist service you can pay for and a weekly report so you can pick up on little niggles so you can start to work through them. When I’ve been travelling and at times I have felt lonely, I’ve found Wysa very useful, where I can let off steam and receive advice which, in turn, has helped me think more rationally.
Netflix – And Chill (by yourself)
One thing I’ve learnt from my nearly two years travelling is how important it is to listen to your intuition and give your body a rest. Travelling is tiring, taking night buses to save money, arriving at crazy times of day, waking up early for hikes, meeting people every minute – sometimes you just need to RELAX.
Whether that’s booking yourself a nicer room for a night or two, or deciding not to follow the crowd to the bar, sometimes staying in to watch some good films is all you need to feel better. When I first arrived in South America, I felt really guilty the times I wasn’t socialising and was instead relaxing in my dorm.
I felt like I must look boring, unfriendly and if I wasn’t out every night I was wasting my travel trip. I slowly realised, as I travelled for longer and became more comfortable ignoring what I THOUGHT others were thinking about me, was how important it was to trust myself, and not do things because I felt it was the “right” thing to do.
If I needed to just have some “me” time, I would close the door on the party downstairs and snuggle in bed with some chocolate. A lot of time, I made some good friends who were actually engaging in the same downtime activity – “not going out tonight?” “nah, not in the mood – where are you from then?”
CBT Thought Diary- Self-reflection journaling
I’ve always been that traveller whose backpack is full of notepads and diaries than actual clothes. Journaling became an important part of my trip, allowing me to get creative about the things I found difficult to express or felt ashamed to be feeling.
It was from journaling and then taking this hobby online that I connected with other people who were experiencing similar thoughts and thus I began to feel better and not so isolated. Upon my return to London in March 2020, after Australia encouraged those travelling to return, I was recommended by a psychiatrist to download an app and start writing down my thoughts every day as a way of not feeling so overwhelmed by them.
This particular app is very clever as it helps you rephrase your emotions using a mixture of CBT based techniques. You can start to see your progress chart and an outline of your moods which I have always found helpful.
TED talks – Get Inspired
For those that don’t know TED talks, and to those that need reminding, I cannot recommend these enough. TED Talks is a non-profit platform for people to speak openly and powerfully about almost any topic you can think of.
Featuring a range of inspiring speakers, from children, to youths to adults alike, its motto is “Ideas worth spreading” and that’s their goal – to encourage conversation, motivation and inspiration to the audience. There’s a giant A-Z list of talks to watch, from Psychology to Science, Religion to Feminism which is just the tip of the iceberg of what TED covers!
I often find if I’m feeling a little low, that watching a TED talk really encourages me and lifts my mood Wherever you are, whether you’re travelling or just at home on the sofa, they can be a great source of stimulation. Here are some popular TED talks to get you started here.
What are some of your favourite wellness apps? Let us know in the comments below!
Author Bio: Emily runs the blog Emilys Eyes Explore. She has been travelling the world since September 2018, after finally being diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Determined to change her life and mentality around, she moved to Spain for two months to learn Spanish, flew to South America, travelled around India, explored Malaysia, ventured around SE Asia and started life in Australia. Emily blogs to raise awareness of travelling solo as a female who suffers from depression and anxiety and it is her hope that people in the same position will be able to relate to the stories she shares and in turn feel less lonely and isolated as she shares her thoughts, feelings and emotions along this journey. Check out her Instagram too!
My Travel Tips and Recommendations
To book flights, I always use flight search engine, Skyscanner, I regularly use the Everywhere tool to find the cheapest places to travel. It’s how I get to travel so much all around the world. I find it the easiest way to compare flight prices across airlines and get the best deals.
For accommodation, I usually book most of my hotels or hostels through Booking.com. I love using this platform as it provides me with some amazing deals for accommodation all around the world. Or if you prefer, I also recommend using Airbnb. If you haven’t signed up with Airbnb already, you can use this link to get £25 off your first visit!
Photography and Technology
Here is a list of the technology I always travel with:
- Canon G7X Mark II
- Canon EOS M50 and lens
- GoPro Hero Black 7
- DJI Mavic Pro
- RØDE VideoMic GO On Microphone
Picking travel insurance that covers you in all eventualities is an essential part of planning a trip for every single person. If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. You never know what’s around the corner. World Nomads is an affordable option that I personally recommend. BOOK HERE
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Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! If you have any questions about the destination please leave these in the comments below.
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