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It’s always tough balancing your stress levels before heading out on a trip; not only can the travel planning process itself be a stressful time, but the last minute rush to fit everything on your to-do list in.

It always seems to be the case that there’s never enough time to get everything done before you board the plane; housework piles up, work piles up, and the aim is of course to get ahead and front end your work for the time you’ll be away.

But working yourself too hard, and taking on too much in the weeks immediately before a trip can leave you burnt out by the time you leave.

And while exhaustion is definitely a solid strategy for sleeping soundly through a long haul flight, you don’t want to be spending your first few days of vacation totally worn out and tired; you want to seize every second of your vacation time and feel energized.

If you identify with the above, and find yourself phsyically and mentally exhausted before you leave for a trip, utilise these tips for avoiding burnout in the lead up to your travels.

How to Avoid Burnout in the Lead up to Travel

What is Burnout

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Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and psychological fatigue that is caused by prolonged periods of stress and tension.

Essentially, it is a form of exhaustion that happens when you’re feeling constantly overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and burdened by the incessant and endless demands of life that are relentlessly piling upon you.

Typically, burnout happens when you’re feeling swamped with work and education, but the consequences of burnout can affect everything from your professional and academic career to your personal life and social relationships as well.

And while travel is typically thought of as a way to refresh, reenergize and recover from burnout, becoming too burnt out before you leave may actually make your travels themselves a stressful event. 

The problem with burnout is that it can gradually build up within you without you noticing until it is seriously affecting your quality of life.

There are a number of ways to address burnout, and the tips and tricks that we have outlined in this article can be used either as a preventative measure or a remedial course of action if you are actively struggling with burnout.

Reclaiming Control

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At the end of the day, stress is an unfortunate and inevitable fact of life. When this stress becomes extended and unrelenting, however, it results in the debilitating condition known as burnout.

The symptoms associated with burnout extend far beyond your career prospects and interpersonal relationships, and research has linked it to various health problems such as sleep disturbances, irritability, hypertension, and depression.

And while travel can do wonders for our emotional and psychological well-being, it’s important to understand that it can also exacerbate certain mental illnesses such as depression, panic disorders, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, substance abuse, schizophrenia, and OCD.

One of the root causes of burnout is feeling as if you have lost or are losing control over the most important aspects of your life, leading to feelings such as helplessness and frustration.

Resolving burnout requires serious changes at the organizational level of wherever you are working or studying, but there are personal steps you can take towards recovery and prevention as well.

A critical step to reducing burnout is reclaiming control.

This can include prioritizing your health by setting clear boundaries, reducing your exposure to whatever or whoever is troubling you, looking into supplements like CBD oils that can help improve your wellbeing, seeking out meaningful and constructive interpersonal connections, and creating a space for yourself that inspires, comforts, and motivates you.

Decluttering Your Space

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Following the last point, decluttering your space is an excellent way for you to initially take control and then progress on to more significant changes.

The truth is that people often underestimate how a mismanaged and cluttered space can slow you down while you’re working, studying, or gaming.

When you’re struggling with burnout, it can make a stressful and exasperating situation more difficult than it needs to be—especially when you can’t find what you need when you need it.

It has been proven that there is a correlation between your physical environment and your psychological state, and when either one of these is overwhelmed and chaotic, it is bound to affect the other.

Reclaiming control of your life can seem like a daunting prospect at first, and decluttering your space is a simple solution for you to take that preliminary step in the right direction.

There are several ways you can do this, including purchasing filing cabinets and binders for your paperwork, stationery holders and cable organizers, and reducing the number of electronics on your desk.

Managing Your Electronics

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We’re living in a digital era, and practically anyone who is studying or working is using several devices simultaneously. On your desk, for example, you likely have your PC, a monitor or two, a laptop, a keyboard, a pair of headphones, and a mouse.

If you are a gaming enthusiast or you are working from home, then you’re probably going to have at least two monitors to accommodate your needs.

These can all contribute to a cluttered space, and before you realize you are drowning in all sorts of trailing cables, blinking lights, and glowing screens.

Portable second monitors like the Mobile Pixels Duex Lite are a great solution. They function as a second screen that can be magnetically attached to your PC or your laptop, conserving precious real estate on your desk, and allowing you to also travel with them if you need.

Coordinate and organize your electronics so that your space becomes a sanctuary and a source of inspiration and reflection rather than a cause for stress.

Prioritizing Yourself

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In the midst of your hectic and unpredictable routine, so many of us neglect to prioritize ourselves.

Now, you may argue that your upcoming trip is your way of prioritizing yourself, and when you plan to get in that ‘me time’, but you still need a certain level of energy to go through the travel motions. 

Rather than pursuing personal growth and development in everyday life, people become so consumed with ticking activities from their checklist at the expense of their own well-being.

In order to continue fulfilling your usual responsibilities and duties while also avoiding burnout and attaining fulfillment, it’s important to regularly replenish your physical and emotional energy.

It isn’t hard to do this either, and can be as simple as cultivating good sleeping habits, eating healthily, exercising, connecting with those you love, and creating firm boundaries.

If something or someone is causing you unreasonable trouble, then you should be able to step away or, at the very least, take some time to make an informed decision.

Ultimately, you want to reduce your exposure to people, activities, and situations which are contributing to your burnout, and instead invest in whatever reenergizes and reinvigorates you. It’s important to reserve some space and time for rest, leisure, and entertainment as well.


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When you’re experiencing it, burnout can often seem like it is an insurmountable and impossible problem. Nothing could be further from the truth, however.

When you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted like this, then it is a response to a problem you are facing — not an indication of a problem within yourself. There are solutions out there, and it is just a matter of you applying them.

Recognizing that you have burnout is an incredible first step in the right direction, and after this, it is just about reclaiming control and prioritizing yourself.

There are so many ways you can do this, whether it is setting boundaries, creating time and space exclusively for yourself, or seeking out positive environments, activities, and people. But the most important thing is finding what works for you.

Ultimately, every individual is different, so what works for one person may not work for you. These are ideas to get you started, but ultimately you’ll need to find your own balance as feeding your emotional needs is a deeply personal journey.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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