When I first started working as a digital nomad, I had no idea what to expect. In fact, it's still sometimes hard to believe that this is actually my reality. But after a few years of living this exciting lifestyle and making mistakes along the way, I've learned some valuable lessons about how to manage anxiety while travelling. Here are some of my best tips:
Create a safety net
One of the most important things you can do when travelling as a digital nomad is to create a safety net for yourself. What does this mean? It means creating a backup plan in case things go wrong, and it also means surrounding yourself with people who are willing to help out if something goes awry.
You may be thinking: “Wait, isn’t that what insurance companies are for?” Yes, insurance companies certainly do provide a level of security - and there are many options available to you - I'd encourage leaning into a village. Have your tribe on speed dial (from the therapist, to family members, to close friends, to a psychiatrist). Bloom in the environment you're in - making connections with members who are in your exercise classes, are part of community organizations you become part of, happen to be really cool team members at companies you consult, etc. A solid village creates peace of mind.
Stick to a routine
The more comfortable you are, the less anxiety you'll feel. Luckily, there are several things you can do to help keep yourself feeling more secure and at home while travelling. Having a routine is one of those things—and it doesn't have to be complicated! If you don't already have a morning routine or evening routine in place before leaving on your trip, start one now. Doing so will help keep your brain healthy while on the road and make it easier for both yourself and others around you to know what's going on with your day-to-day life as a digital nomad.
It's also important to keep track of all the things that contribute towards making up an effective travel schedule: eating well, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep…the list goes on! These factors all play into maintaining levels of productivity while travelling—and they're just as important when working remotely too! So take advantage of these opportunities by carving out time each day for self-care activities like yoga practice or meditation sessions; taking breaks from technology; getting plenty of restful sleep each night…these little habits add up over time :)
Being well rested and hydrated, eating a healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains – as well as exercising will help keep your energy levels high throughout the day. Take time out from work to relax every day so that you have time for yourself and are less likely to feel anxious about taking breaks from work altogether when travelling for long periods of time (e.g., having a weekend off).
Make sure that you also spend some time socializing with people who are important in your life - this could mean going out with other digital nomads or friends from home who are visiting; it could also mean meeting up with locals who you've met digitally through WhatsApp Groups, GroupMe Chats, Twitter chats, or Facebook groups!
Manage your expectations
One of the biggest sources of stress is managing your expectations. When you’re working as a digital nomad, it can be tempting to think about all the amazing things that will happen in your life when you travel. Your budget will be perfect and your accommodation will be luxurious, yet affordable. You’ll meet lots of interesting people who are also working remotely and want to hang out with you at all times.
You might even imagine relationships blossoming out of nowhere with someone who is already living in your new city!
But let me tell you something: what will happen along the journey is what is meant to happen. Many things of which, you have no control over. Even still, be careful not to get overly stressed or disappointed about the things you can't control - because the experiences you have will blossom your being in ways that you could have never planned for. You adapt. You deprogram many of the mental traits that were never meant to edify you in the first place. You step into more joy that you could have ever imagined when you started the journey. Just allow life to be.
Take time for yourself
One of the most common things that happens when you travel is that you find yourself in a state of constant motion. You're moving from one place to another, meeting new people and going on adventures. All of this can be great fun and something to look forward to, but it's important not to forget about taking care of yourself too! Without proper rest, you'll burn out quickly and end up feeling anxious or overwhelmed by everything else going on around you.
Taking time each day to recharge is essential if you want your travels (and your life as a digital nomad) to go smoothly. Try taking a walk around town, spending time with friends and family over Skype or Facetime, and napping during the day so that when night comes around it's easier for you to get into bed early enough (that way there won't be any anxiety over not having enough sleep), doing hobbies like drawing, writing, etc.
Time for me has looked like staying in some locations for 3 months and other places one month. It has been keeping a steady one-year term at an Airbnb or leased apartment so that I have a base and sanctuary to come home to. There is complete space for you to create the life of you dreams.
Being a digital nomad can be an exciting and fulfilling lifestyle that lets you experience new cultures and collaborate with people from all over the world. But it’s important to take care of yourself, especially if you suffer from anxiety or depression. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of being a digital nomad, but always remember that there are many ways that you can manage your anxiety and stay healthy in various environments.