Products Therapists Personally Use To De-Stress While Traveling

Don't forget to pack these mental health essentials in your suitcase or carry-on bag.
Traveling can be exciting, but overwhelming. Here's what therapists use when their trips get stressful.
Kiyoshi Hijiki / EyeEm via Getty Images
Traveling can be exciting, but overwhelming. Here's what therapists use when their trips get stressful.

The normal stressors associated with traveling, combined with anxiety around COVID-19, can make taking a trip feel more overwhelming than ever.

Mental health professionals are feeling the same way. You may think your therapist has it all figured out, but chances are they’re experiencing anxiety around traveling as well.

So, what are the items that experts use when they’re feeling stressed? HuffPost reached out to mental health professionals to find out.

Here’s what they personally swear by when they’re traveling.

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A portable white noise machine
“I always bring a white noise machine with me when I travel. It blocks out any noise and helps me sleep better, which is incredibly important to my mental health,” said Rebecca Leslie, a psychologist based in Atlanta.

This compact and portable white noise machine from Yogasleep effectively cancels out noise for deeper sleep and relaxation.
“I de-stress by reading books that are completely unrelated to work while traveling. It helps me slow down my brain, and doesn’t require battery or Wi-Fi,” said Chandan Khandai, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

The Great Reads Subscription Box from Well Read Books’ Box of Books will send you two books every month personalized to your tastes. Bring new reads on your next journey.
A journal
Lia Mancao, a psychotherapist and owner of Alyssa Marie Wellness, said she carries a journal while traveling.

“I spend my travel time disconnecting from cell service and intentionally connecting with myself by writing in my journal. This helps me stay calm and focused without the distractions of the digital world,” she told HuffPost.

Grab a journal filled with colorful designs and bright hues, like this one from Paper Source.
A comfortable pillow
“When I travel, I always make sure to pack a pillow from my bed. It creates a sense of home and comfort even when I am away,” said Nina Vasan, chief medical officer of Real, a digital therapy and mental health platform.

Cariloha’s Air Pillow is made of pressure-relieving bamboo charcoal memory foam, perfect to use at home and to bring with you on vacation.
A travel blanket
Samina Jauregui, a sleep psychologist and adviser to Pluto Pillow, said she uses a blanket for sleep and relaxation when on the go.

“I find that the Tirrinia Travel Blanket helps keep me warm and evokes feelings of comfort when I am away from home,” she said.
A high-quality sleep mask
Aimee Martinez, a licensed psychologist in Los Angeles, reaches for a sleep mask to quiet her mind and drift off into a restful slumber.

“My favorite sleep mask helps ease the anxiety and stress of traveling to an unfamiliar place,” she said.

Manta’s sleep mask blocks 100% of light and promotes deeper sleep.
A massager
Massage therapy can be super helpful, not only for your physical health but also to relax your mind.

“I make sure to pack my Hypervolt to soothe my tired, achy muscles from hours of traveling,” said Nekeshia Hammond, a psychologist, author and speaker.
Lavender rollerballs
“When traveling, I take a big deep breath of my lavender rollerballs, close my eyes and meditate for a few minutes. This practice helps me quiet my mind and boosts my mood,” said Regine Muradian, a psychologist based in Glendale, California.

This lavender rollerball from UpNature is leak-proof and comes in a travel-size bottle.
A planner that fits in your bag
Engaging in a set routine or ritual adds structure to your schedule, which may help alleviate anxiety that comes with unpredictability. Kristin Meekhof, a therapist and author of “A Widow’s Guide to Healing,” always writes in her planner during travel.

“Writing in my planner lets me see my life through the lens of creativity. Recording my wellness, professional and personal activities before reaching my destination is very therapeutic,” she said.

This planner from Target is sleek, neutral and can easily slide into your personal bag or carry-on.
A sketch pad
Neha Chaudhary, chief medical officer of BeMe Health, makes sure she has a sketch pad during travel.

“Not only is art something I’m passionate about, it actually helps focus my mind, slow down my thoughts, and stay present in the moment in a way that leaves me feeling better,” she said.

This set from Norberg & Linden comes with art pencils, a sharpener, erasers and a travel-size sketch pad — perfect for your handbag.

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