Many digital nomads start out with this grand vision for a life on the road surrounded by coconuts and palm trees, with little to no stress. The good life! While excess stress is undoubtedly one of the driving forces behind such a decision, the stress on the other side is just as real as that left behind.
Whatever you’re ambitions are—they’re rarely as simple as perceived. So, unless you get your dopamine from a tap or plan to sit in meditation all day with the monks, you might want to consider creating your own stress management system because the consequences of not doing so can be catastrophic, to say the least.
Here are seven tips to help reduce stress for a life on the road:
Show me a study that says meditation is not good for you and I’ll dance around the tables naked singing One Direction. The benefits can no longer be ignored. It’s not just for the “enlightened” ones. 50 cent shoots people and openly talks about the benefits he gets from practicing. From gang members to monks: meditation is truly universal! It’s not about emptying your mind—it’s about peace of mind. Commit to just 10 minutes practice a day for less stress and more production.
Need more incentive? Meditation has been shown, through brain scanning imagery, to turn down the amygdala and therefore reduce stress and anxiety. I rest my case.
2. Clean up your diet
If you eat like crap, you can’t expect to not feel like crap. Consume more plant-based foods, eliminate processed foods, drink plenty of water, take a B12 supplement to further combat stress, and make sure you get your daily dose of nature’s favorite vitamin D.
Loneliness is a problem. And not a unique one. Social media tricks us into thinking we’re social. Don’t expect people to see through your facade and invite you to everything. If you want to hang out with others and join in on activities—ask. And fuck ’em if they say no. The probability of that happening is very low, and the likelihood of your “nomadic” adventure being everything you want and more because of it, is very high.
4. Exercise and yoga
All exercise is great for combating stress, but if you are dealing with chronic stress, I challenge you to take up yoga. I’ve never been to a class where I haven’t left feeling more relaxed. One exception to this was when I couldn’t remove some dudes nut huggers and sweaty balls from my peripheral vision. The scar remains to this day. If you have a similar encounter, drink a lot of whiskey afterwards. The benefits of yoga are ridiculous, for both the mind and body, so much so that it feels like cheating.
5. Have some fun
It’s the very reason most choose this lifestyle, but you’d be surprised just how many punish themselves by not getting out there and having fun. Fuck Gary Vee—you can’t be productive for 18 hours a day. It’s reached the stage where many are walking around stressed to the max talking about adrenal fatigue and the fact they haven’t taken a shit in weeks because they’re working so hard. And at the same time expecting a medal of honor for it. There are no medals for making yourself sick—get out there and have some fucking fun. Every facet of your life will be better because of it.
6. Practice gratitude
Our brain’s hard-wired negativity bias ensurs we’re quick to put ourselves down and reluctant to lift ourselves up. I’ll be the first to admit I find this gratitude stuff weird, but it works. Remind yourself often just how lucky you are (you’re living a life many will only dream of), and you’ll soon see a positive change in your mood and outlook. From the little to the major—we have so much to be grateful for—and the more you remind yourself, the less stressed you’ll be.
7. Reduce your social media consumption
Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook ‘likes’ are all crap metrics for measuring success and happiness. And we obsess over this shit. We are social beings, and this is what it’s come to—seeking social validation from an anti-social platform. What did you do when your alarm went off this morning? This shit is so addictive and detrimental to one’s well-being. Studies have shown just how bad it can make us feel—so unplug from your robot once in a while to connect with a pulse.
Incorporate just a few of these tips, and you’re guaranteed to encounter less stress on your nomadic adventure.