HOW CAN TRAVEL BENEFIT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH?
Especially with many of us now working from home a lot of mental health charities
are having an influx of new people asking for help on how to improve their mental state. So whether you like a stroll down the beach or an adrenaline trip to the mountains travel is an incredible way improve your mental health.
"Mental health is not a destination but a process. It's about how you drive not where you're going” - Noam Shpancer PhD
GIVES YOU ANOTHER FOCUS
Rather than stressing about schedules or deadlines travelling gives you a whole host of things to keep your mind active away from the day to day stresses. From planning the trip to navigating down the backstreets of an unknown town it helps put other demands of life into perspective.
Boosts Self Confidence
A lot of people are scared to travel because they worry they won’t know what to do in certain situations, well, to tell the truth, there are still many situations I get myself in which at the time I’m not sure how to handle. But only by pushing your boundaries can you show yourself what you are capable of and that self-belief will soon translate into your everyday life! Start small, is there a new museum you want to visit? A show you’ve always wanted to see? Or dive headfirst and maybe take a solo trip abroad somewhere?
Known as the happy hormone serotonin and is often the main target in anti-depression medications, it has been found that getting out in nature is a natural way to give yourself a serotonin boost. Not only will this help your mental health in the short term but it can also help physically with regulating sleep and digestion which will give you long term benefits. A small walk is all it takes to give yourself a boost but I’d recommend going somewhere with a change of scene… the seaside, woods, riverside. Time out in nature has a more calming affect than walking around a housing estate.
A different perspective
Travel can make you question the everyday norms you grew up with and make you question if the way you are living is the best for you. Does the 9-5 office job work or should you expand your horizons? There is no right or wrong answer but it is what suits your needs, this can also be good to reflect back on in times of stress.
Connect With Like Minded People
Travel is an amazing way to form a network of people who have similar interests that you can talk to and learn from. They don’t have to be a close friendship group or even people you meet up with much but having those people to turn to especially if your close friends have different hobbies is a great way to keep your mind active. There are many friends I regularly meet up with that I originally met on holidays some of which are now very close friends, others I only speak to on occasion but I know they would always be there if I needed anything. Creating a web around you acts as a comfort blanket should you ever need a bit of encouragement.
This is not medical advice and you should seek professional help if you or anyone you know are struggling.