Many of us dive headfirst into Buslife as a way of setting ourselves free. Free to roam, free to explore, free to experience all of the wonderful things this world has to offer. But new freedoms can often mean new challenges, not just physically but for our mental health as well.
Social media can make Buslife look like it’s all adventures and good times, and a lot of the time it is, but things aren’t always how they appear on Instagram. What we often don’t see, is the side where Buslifers are navigating the stresses of Bus repairs, of finding a safe space to park at night, changed plans, and the loneliness that can come with time spent away from family and friends.
Buslife challenges us to live a life that is both mindful and minimal. Living in tiny spaces we’re forced to reflect often on what we truly need and what can be let go of. Our daily routines become rituals that keep us grounded and healthy, offering the ultimate form of self-care as we navigate our day-to-day lives.
Below are a few of the best ways to prioritize your mental health while on the road.
Create a morning routine
This one goes hand in hand with many of the other self-care tips in this article. Creating a morning routine can be a great way to structure your day and ensure you’re starting it off on the right foot. What that routine looks like can vary greatly from person to person, but that’s the beauty of a morning routine, it’s all about taking the steps to have the perfect morning for you.
According to My Morning Routine, 63% of participants in their interview group practice yoga or meditation when they wake-up in the morning, and 79% take part in some form of exercise. However, a morning routine doesn’t have to mean fitness and it doesn’t even have to look the same on weekends as it does for your weekdays.
For some of us, it can be as simple as brewing a warm cup of coffee and taking some time to enjoy it in bed while we scroll through our emails. For others, it may look like having some breakfast and taking some time to read outside. Think about what things would make your morning wake-up ideal and figure out how they can fit into your everyday.
Want to learn more about perfecting your morning routine? Check out the My Morning Routine Book by Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander.
And no, I don’t mean in your Bus. Exercise is one of the best ways to take care of your physical and mental health on the road. Even something as small as getting out and going for a walk or introducing a morning yoga flow can do wonders to put you in a healthy headspace for the day ahead.
Simple aerobic exercises have been said to help alleviate the effects of anxiety, loneliness, and depression. They provide us with a form of distraction and stress release that can help clear our minds so we can tackle tasks and problems more effectively. The good news is, you don’t have to run a marathon to reap these rewards.
In fact, in a study from 2019 by JAMA Psychiatry, it was shown that there was a 26% decrease in the odds of becoming depressed with each 15-minute increase of movement when we may otherwise be sedentary.
Whether it’s going for a swim or testing out a local hiking trail, exercise is a great way to explore new places and boost your mood by getting those endorphins pumping. One of my personal favorites? YouTube’s Yoga with Adrienne! Her videos are great to take along with you on the road and squeeze in a quick yoga practice wherever you may be. You can also check out our article, How to Keep Fit on the Road.
For many Buslifers, especially those traveling solo, online connections are incredibly important to life on the road. Whether it’s staying connected with family and friends back home or getting involved in the Buslife community, social media plays a huge role in maintaining a social life and positive mental health while traveling.
However, as wonderful as these connections are, it’s important to balance this online time with periods of quiet and calm as well. While social media can breed connection, it can also bring with it comparison and feed our insecurities.
As the saying goes, comparison is the thief of joy, so taking just a few hours in the morning or before bed to put your phone away can do wonders to create some mental peace and quiet. Reducing the noise and distractions to offer a space for creativity and reflection to flourish.
Learn a new skill
Life on the road is a constant learning experience. Whether it’s becoming a master at cooking in a tiny kitchen on wheels or learning the best ways to work on the road, Buslife is filled with opportunities to build our skills and knowledge in so many ways.
Aside from the practical ways that skill-building can help with Buslife, learning something new can also act as a great form of self-care. Consider picking up a sketchbook and trying your hand at sketching the scenes you see on your travels, or download an app like DuoLingo and practice learning the languages of the regions you visit. Taking time to learn for the sake of learning not only helps to relieve stress but it can open the door to discovering some new passions too!
Practice gratitude to improve mental health
No self-care ritual would be complete without taking a moment to be grateful for the things we have around us. Practicing gratitude can take many forms, from meditation and self-reflection to putting pen to paper and writing out the things that you’re grateful for from one day to the next.
However you choose to do it, allotting some time each day to reflect on the positive can help to shift your perspective (especially when you’re feeling down), reminding us that a day is always sunny when we look above the clouds.
How do you like to take care of yourself while living the Buslife? We’d love to hear your tips for prioritizing mental health on the road! Leave your ideas in the comments below or connect with us on Instagram here to join the conversation. Take care Buslifers!