Although it may seem like life as a digital nomad is all beaches, parties, and a little work in between, this snapshot just isn’t realistic. Life as a digital nomad can be quite lonely, stressful, and overwhelming at times.
For instance, missing family and friends back home incessantly. Or frustrating the heck out of yourself trying to learn cultural customs and languages. Even financial struggles. Because of these things, you must pay attention to how you care for yourself in both the pleasant and hard times you’ll experience as a digital nomad.
Prioritizing your physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing at all times is the best way forward. This ensures you’re able to enjoy the wonderfulness of working anywhere and traveling the world and successfully navigate the not-so-wonderful times as a digital nomad.
Here are eight ways to take care of yourself while living your digital nomad life:
Learn to Listen to Yourself
One of the first things you must learn how to do is listen to yourself. This means listening to your body so you can recognize physical symptoms. Understanding the thoughts going through your head daily to replace negative thoughts with more positive ones. Even learning what situations trigger harmful emotions and learning to work through them more productively.
The best way to learn to listen to yourself is to recognize and analyze what’s happening to you mentally, physically, and emotionally when you’re going through something. For instance, if you sit down somewhere and start to feel uneasy, take a look at what’s happening around you that could be triggering those feelings. Then, when you identify what it is, work through it logically in your head and replace any negativity with positive affirmations that will get you through the situation.
Another way to take care of yourself while living your digital nomad life is to implement regular mental health check-ins.
Implement Regular Mental Health Check-ins
Once you learn to listen to yourself more thoroughly, you can implement regular mental health checks. In other words, you’re taking time out of each day to ask yourself, “How is my mind doing today? How is my heart? What emotions are overpowering others today? If I’m struggling, what can help?”
Even if you have to set a reminder on your phone to take five minutes and do a mental health check-in, do it. If you don’t check in on your mental health and well-being, who will? You must take ownership of and pride in caring for your mental state and giving it the love and attention it deserves each day.
Along with showing your mind love each day, ensure your physical health is a priority as well.
Be Diligent With Your Exercise Routine
Exercising regularly is one of the best ways to take care of your body and mind. You’re getting stronger and healthier physically, but you’re also releasing all of the good hormones like serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins that uplift your mental and emotional health.
Establish a regular exercise routine and be diligent about it. Mix up your routine with different physical activities like hiking, yoga, dance, weight-lifting, swimming, and other sports.
Also, you mustn’t burn yourself out by doing too much, like exercising seven days a week and keeping up with a strict diet. Not meeting these extreme goals will discourage you and it’ll end up being another six months or longer before you exercise again.
So, set a doable schedule and learn more about nutrition. This brings us to our next tip:
Take Your Nutrition Seriously
Exercising regularly while eating a diet full of everything unhealthy is hugely unproductive. You’ll never be able to outwork a bad diet. Plus, good nutrition fuels your body and gives you energy and stamina to work out and conquer your day.
So, take your nutrition seriously. As a digital nomad, it’s easy to fall into the snack trap and fast food frenzy because it seems you don’t have time to eat properly. But honestly, that’s just a cop-out. Instead, take the time to eat properly and fuel your body with the foods and drinks that will bring you a clear mind, a happy spirit, and a healthy body.
Staying on top of your responsibilities is also another way to ensure you’re taking care of yourself.
Stay on Top of Your Responsibilities
Simply put, it’s stressful when you aren’t on top of things—for example, overspending on things you don’t need, not having a stable home to live in, partying too much, not saving, or losing clients because you can’t wake up in time.
The stress brought on by irresponsibility can be detrimental to your physical and mental health.
Ensure you’re on top of your responsibilities to mitigate stress and ignite a more enjoyable digital nomad experience. For example, pay your bills on time, learn how to budget, ensure your needs are met, and that you’re able to pay for healthy foods, mental health services, and so forth. If you find yourself struggling to make ends meet while also drowning in work, consider revisiting how much you price your work as a freelancer and if there’s an opportunity to charge more for your services.
Ultimately, staying on top of your responsibilities encourages you to continue your digital nomad journey in a healthy, positive way.
It’s also a good idea to construct a professional medical care team to ensure your mental, physical, and emotional health is being cared for adequately. You can do so efficiently with telehealth services.
Take Advantage of Telehealth Services
As a digital nomad, you’re not in one place for too long, and that can take a toll on your mental and physical health. It also makes it hard to establish relationships with medical professionals and develop a reliable health plan. Fortunately, telehealth services can help.
Telehealth services are health-related services distributed via digital platforms and telecommunication technologies. Telehealth services are lovely for digital nomads because with traveling all the time, you need access to medical care and support no matter where you are. Telehealth allows you to establish a medical care team and take care of the majority of your health needs without having to visit in person.
There are even teledentistry services as well. You obviously won’t get the hands-on work done, like fillings, cleanings, X-rays, or braces. However, you can use teledentistry appointments to go over symptoms you’re having or concerns with a qualified dentist to determine if immediate care is necessary or if it’s something you can address at a later time.
You also want to complement your professional support system with a bit of self-care for additional comfort.
Practice Self-Care Often
There are more and more conversations around self-care and how important it is these days. Even if you weren’t a digital nomad, practicing self-care can help you lead a healthier, more vibrant, and purposeful life.
Some self-care activity ideas include:
Taking a walk and immersing yourself in nature
Pampering yourself with a spa, hair, and nail appointment
Committing to practicing positive self-talk each day
Reading a book that uplifts your spirit
Listening to music or a good podcast
Meditation or mindfulness practices
Taking up journaling
Engaging in creative outlets
Spending time with family and friends
Lastly, don’t beat yourself up.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Holding yourself to impossible or unrealistic standards is a surefire way to suck the joy out of your life. It’s also the exact opposite of taking care of yourself. So instead, work on not beating yourself up. The goal is to show yourself grace and understanding in any circumstance.
For example, if you don’t meet a deadline, have to cancel a client meeting, turn down a project, or simply stay in bed all day to rest your mind and body, tell yourself that it’s okay. Trust that you’ll get to where you want to be through it all. Honor the entire process and appreciate all that you go through because it’s ultimately making you a better digital nomad and person overall.
Remember, there is no perfect, just the best you can do.
Taking care of yourself while living your digital nomad life is essential. Ensure that you're caring for yourself wholly, meaning mind, body, and spirit, with the tips above so that you can remain productive and happy in your digital nomad life.