So here it is. The post about my mental health while bicycle touring… I have been dreading this a little bit. Even though I think talking about mental health is necessary to lose some of the stigma (and disbelief) around it, I feel uncomfortable. Not because of the topic, but because I am bothering others with my troubles.
How was it for me to do almost three weeks of bicycle touring while dealing with depression and panic attacks?
Well, since most of my panic attacks are about people-masses and lots of strangers, doing a solo bicycle tour through a country with only 5 Millionen inhabitants is a good thing. I did not have any panic attacks while on tour. And I also did not have to deal with the overwhelm and exhaustion that always comes with many strangers around me. I could concentrate on myself and those few people I met.
The daily routine also was good for me. Even though I had to shorten the time I spent pedaling compared to before – it was a little over half the km and probably 2/3 of the time. So I had to give myself some grace and accept what I could and couldn’t do. Some days that was hard.
I definitely did not have as much resilience as normal considering the wind and the uphill. Well, probably that was connected to also being very unfit after struggling with this pandemic and my mental health for 2 years.
Besides some nosebleeds and one day with an upset belly because of a soda I foolishly bought, my body did play fair. Because of that I guess my stress level must have been ok.
So bicycle touring was ok while it lasted for my mental health, but it did not change much for my daily life. For me, it was a break, but not a cure.
What else would you like about my tour? Any specific questions you would like to have answered? About the gear or logistics or maybe schedules? Do not hesitate to ask!
keep exploring and smiling