travelingTraveling can be exciting, but it can also be very stressful. It is particularly important for people living with moods to do prepare for travel before they leave.

A surprisingly high percentage of serious mood catastrophes, in our experience, happen during trips. And they are almost always preventable.

First, if your traveling to some place without good medical care, it’s a good idea to think through how you would deal with a mood crisis.

You don’t want to be trying to figure out the complexities of a foreign medical system when you’re very depressed or manic. Particularly because, in a country without a great medical system, there is often poor Internet access and finding people (doctors) can be difficult and time consuming.

One format we like for this kind of preparation is from the wellness recovery action program (WRAP). It might be a bit of overkill, but certainly completing this kind of crisis plan goes a very long way towards making sure that you’ll never need to use it.

Time zone changes are another challenge. They can often be mood destabilizing. We encourage you to take a look at the jet lag calculator on the British Airways site and make a plan for a smooth transition to your new time zone. For most people, bringing along a battery operated therapy light is also an extremely good idea.

Finally, it’s worthwhile trying to think about how you can replicate your usual daily routine while you’re traveling. If exercise is an important part of that routine, do some planning before you leave to find places where you can do your exercise. Similarly, make a commitment now to continue doing your meditation practice while you are on the road, if that’s part of your daily routine.

Keeping these routines is an important part of having a good and stable mood throughout your trip, which will ensure that you have a great time.

Bon voyage!