Some people are born with the travel bug, while others can sometimes need a bit of convincing. But, whether you love traveling or haven’t been able to do much of it due to covid / other life commitments, there are a few things that can’t be denied. Most importantly, it can’t be ignored that traveling is great for your mental health. You might do what it takes to stay healthy physically, whether you’re at home, taking care of the kids, or even when you’re away on holiday. But, are you taking care of your mental health, too?
The last year has been a difficult one for people all over the globe. While some areas are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, (hiya) there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Travel will soon become a part of everyday life again. And, if you’ve been feeling stressed or overwhelmed, going somewhere new could be exactly what you need to feel more like yourself.
Still not convinced? (I don’t know how haha)
Let’s go over a few of the biggest mental health benefits of traveling, so you can start booking your trip as soon as possible (or as soon as it’s safe to).
- It Allows You to Be Active
Almost anywhere you go in the world, you’ll have the opportunity to be active. Maybe you want to hike a mountain range or go skiing. Or, maybe strolling through communities or busy cities is more your style. Whatever the case, traveling allows you to get out more, and move your body. While that benefits your physical health, of course, exercise (especially when you’re moving outside) has an incredible impact on your mental health.
Studies have shown that getting regular exercise can improve your cognitive function and your focus. It can also boost your energy levels, and fight off symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Being active is a choice, so it should also be something you enjoy while you’re traveling. Think of different ways to make the most of your trip that involve moving your body in some way. You’ll be benefitting more than you realize, and you’ll return home feeling less stressed.
- It Can Give You a Fresh Perspective
Because of the pandemic, so many of us have been stuck at home for far too long. Unfortunately, that can cause mental health concerns that often lead to depression. You also might be struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness. Getting out and seeing the world – no matter where you go – can offer you a fresh perspective and keep things from getting stale. It can help you to see that there is much more out there in the world to be explored, piquing your curiosity and giving you a renewed sense of peace.
- It Boosts Your Creativity
Research has shown that new experiences and trying new things can help you to get out of a “rut” in life. Who couldn’t benefit from that right now? Going to a new place, whether it’s somewhere in Europe or somewhere you never thought you’d visit, like seputeh heights, can spark a sense of creativity in you that you might feel like you’ve been lacking for months.
When you stay in one place for too long, it’s easy to let your thoughts go flat. That can impact your job, your relationships, and even your mental health. When you travel and choose to fully immerse yourself in whatever culture you’re in, it’s hard not to get inspired by the things you’ll do, see, and experience.
With that in mind, make a point to do things that you think will really spark your creativity. If you consider yourself an artistic person, look for opportunities to paint, draw, sing, or dance. Or, see a play or concert to move you. If you tend to get inspired by natural beauty, go to a location that offers beautiful hikes and other outdoor activities. Finding inspiration wherever you go will stay with you long after you get back home.
- It’s a Stress-Reliever
Most people choose to go on vacation when they’re feeling stressed, but there’s more to that than people think. Traveling actually has been proven to reduce stress levels, especially if you’re going somewhere new and less “touristy”. If you’re really trying to lower your stress and improve your mood, try to choose a sunny location. You don’t necessarily need to lounge around on the beach (unless you want to!), but choosing a spot that will offer you plenty of sunshine will give you a boost of Vitamin D, and can naturally improve your mood and lower stress levels. Traveling with friends or family is a great way to feel reconnected while you reduce your stress. Or, you can choose to travel solo, and relax in the peace and quiet of your location.
- It Builds Self-Confidence
Speaking of solo traveling, there are plenty of mental health benefits there, too. Traveling on your own can build your self-confidence very quickly. It will offer you a sense of independence since you can only rely on yourself to make it a successful trip. Traveling alone will also give you time to reflect. If something particularly difficult is happening in your life, you can use that time of travel to “meditate” on what’s going on, and learn how to overcome it. Doing so will make you feel stronger, and confident that you can solve problems. If you do decide to travel by yourself, make sure you’re going to a safe destination, and be prepared every step of the way. Be sure that your friends and family back home know where you are and that they have your daily itinerary so they can check in as needed.
Traveling is more than just a way to get away. As you can see, there are multiple mental health benefits, and we’re just scratching the surface. While things might seem uncertain now, keep the idea of traveling on your mind, so you can start planning your perfect trip and head out as soon as possible. Your mind and body will thank you for it.