Travel Like Your Mental Health Depends on it

According to a scientific brief released by the World Health Organization (WHO), the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25% in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the full extent of repercussions remains to be seen.  Nowadays it is more important than ever to be doing whatever we can to foster a healthy mental state for ourselves and those around us. It turns out that a partial solution is right at our fingertips: travel.

Travel has a number of benefits to our lives, and its benefits to our mental health cannot be understated.  The following are 10 ways in which travel can be good for our mental health.

1.  Vacations take your mind away from day-to-day routines and allow you to relax and recharge, and in some ways escape. 

2.  Travel is a wonderful platform for connecting with other people, including those who you know well, as well as with strangers.  Feeling well-connected to other people promotes positive mental and physical health and gives life meaning. New research into human connection suggests that emotional conversations, support, positive vibes, and affirmations can all help to enhance our mental health.

3.  Traveling for pleasure can contribute to subjective well-being because people have more opportunities to detach from their work environment, experience new things, and control what they want to do during vacations.

4.  Some travelers may get a mood lift from having new and diverse experiences. A 2020 study published in the journal Nature found that people who see more changes in scenery day-to-day tend to be happier.

5.  Adapting to different cultures can foster creativity. Multicultural learning allows you to solve problems in new ways, increase your awareness of your surroundings, and reduce rigidity, which all contribute to creativity.  A creative mindset can aid our mental health.

6.  Immersing yourself in beautiful vistas and locales can boost your mood.

7.  A wellness trip can contribute to stronger mental health. On a wellness retreat focused on practices like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness, you can learn skills that you can bring home to help you keep up a regular wellness routine. Even if it isn’t a wellness trip, many hotels around the world offer complimentary yoga, meditation classes, pilates, etc.

8.  For many of us, when we travel we are more active, and exercise and activity are good for our mental health. And even if you are not a very physically active person, the act of being outside your normal routine stimulates your brain and helps keep it sharp.

9.  This next one definitely isn’t rocket science.  Doing things that you enjoy (like taking a fun trip) will make you happy.

10.  Treat Yourself! Self-love is the antidote to so many issues, and travel provides copious opportunities for self-love.  For many of us, it is when we travel that we make time for some self-pampering, whether it be enjoying a massage or indulging in a leisurely breakfast

So the next time you want to take a vacation, and your boss gives you issues about taking time off, please let them know it is imperative for your mental health, and direct them to this article.

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