Are you tearing your hair out not being able to travel? It’s currently a strange place we live in when a trip to the supermarket becomes the highlight of our week, that’s for sure. Whilst we all appreciate that we need to adhere to isolation rules in order to get the world back to ‘normal’, it doesn’t stop us craving the travel lifestyle that we’re used to. To go from having complete freedom, to feeling like a prisoner in our own homes is not something I think any of us anticipated. This shocking change to our routine can cause a whole heap of emotions and reactions.
Now, the obvious solution to keeping your sanity is a bit of self-care. Duh! I’m not going to tell you how you should be doing that, because we all have different methods and processes to keep ourselves relaxed and focused. Whilst most of us know exactly what helps us, some of us also need a little nudge in the right direction. Not because we don’t have the intellect to grasp what we’re feeling, but because it’s so easy to lose hope, and therefore, find ourselves in a rut.
I just want to share a few things that have helped keep me focused, for the most part. I’m by no means an expert. We’re all in the same situation, but react differently to it. All I can do is talk about what I’ve done and what I feel has affected me in a positive way. So, here goes…
Be kind to yourself
This seems obvious, but all too often we are so hard on ourselves. We make to-do lists and plans that we don’t stick to because we find ourselves lacking in motivation. Trust me, I’ve been there plenty of times! And the most frustrating part is that we can’t figure out why we lose it, sometimes only moments after finding the resolve! Then, when we don’t accomplish what we planned, we berate ourselves as being ‘useless’ and ‘lazy’. We need to understand that, mentally, it’s sometimes harder to make space for being ‘productive’. I use quotation marks, because we are judging ourselves by a standard society has set for being a productive member of society. Giving ourselves a break from this programmed thought process is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. If there are some days when you get nothing done that you intended, that’s ok. We need to stop judging ourselves by the standards of others. It’s important to just let life flow, especially at a time when we aren’t really sure of anything.
Find a hobby
Some of us already have things we’re really interested in, but have never had the time to fully enjoy. For me, it’s gardening. Since the isolation started, I decided that I wanted to fill my time with something that truly interests me and makes me happy. Whether because of working or travelling, we can miss out on some of the other things that give us satisfaction. Maybe now is the time to put some focus on those things? Just because it doesn’t earn us money, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth our time. In fact, I think it’s even more beautiful to do something that gives back purely enjoyment and happiness. It could be learning to play the guitar, starting a blog, writing a journal, learning to draw. There are endless possibilities that we may not have had time for before.
Create future travel plans
Unfortunately, a lot of us have had to cancel this year’s planned trips. It is a sacrifice we’ve had to make for the health of the population. When we put it like that, it makes it seem like a small sacrifice to make. Something I’ve been planning is a camping trip in western Queensland. It’s more likely that we’ll be able to travel within our own countries before taking international flights. So, I’ve been planning something realistic. I love the outdoors and going camping seems like a good alternate to being inside a house all day. Maybe making a smaller more realistic travel plan can give us the hope we need for travel freedom? Obviously, restrictions are different for every country and as such, will be lifted at varying times. So, we all need to work within the limits that are provided for us.
Take care of your health
Now, I realise that this is a broad topic. In my case, what I have done is created a daily skin care routine that just makes me feel incredible. Every morning I take out all of my favourite products (basically the whole Lush collection) and treat my skin to a full-on pamper. In addition to that, I refuse to stay in my pyjamas all day. I wake up, drink a coffee, take a shower and get dressed. These are definitely not the only ways to feel good. These are just some examples that make me feel good. We all have different ways of dealing with this.
Join online travel groups
Something that can really help us feel connected with the outside travel community is to actually speak to like-minded people. There are so many groups already set up on social media platforms that are hives of information on travel destinations and tips. At the moment these groups have directed their energies into sharing beautiful travel stories and support for people who are struggling with the lockdown. One group I would recommend for female travellers is ‘Girls Love Travel’, on Facebook. This international group is a perfect example of travel-oriented women banding together.
In these uncertain times, it’s important to remain positive and realistic about our future abilities to travel – both interstate and internationally. It’s so easy to feel antsy and like we are trapped, but we need to remember to treat ourselves gently and fill our time with things that help us feel positive and happy.