Millions of us are living with some kind of mental health issue. Whether it’s small or large, constant or intermittent, many of us need to do certain things to help improve our mental health. It could be eating a certain way, getting extra sleep, seeing a certain friend, or even getting away for a trip. There are plenty of mental health benefits that can come from traveling or simply getting away from your regular life for a short while. So, what should you do if you feel like you need to get away for your mental health? We spoke to some travel experts to help you plan a trip that will boost your mental health.
Believe it or not, putting together the itinerary of a trip – i.e. the actual act of planning – can be one of the happiest parts of a trip. The cashback travel destination professionals over at getyourstay.com told us that “the concrete act of searching for a hotel, finding a flight, or planning a route can release such feelings of optimism that it makes people even happier than the trip”. Many studies have shown this opinion to be right. Planning brings feelings of joy, optimism, and hope, which can all be useful factors in fighting feelings of anxiety or depression. So whether you’re planning a huge getaway or something small, enjoy the planning moments, as they’re actually some of the best!
Of course, simply planning a trip isn’t enough. We know you want to go! One of the biggest draws of planning a trip is the feeling of escaping from the stresses of modern-day life. Going to a stressful job on a packed train, dealing with constant bad news on the TV, or simply finding yourself stuck in a routine can all lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness.
Firstly, know that you are not alone, we all feel these things sometimes. Secondly, know that it’s totally OK to want to get away for awhile. It’s not running away, simply taking some time for yourself! Escape the stress and give your mind time to rest and reset.
It may be worth considering a trip that is partially organized for you. Things such as Yoga retreats or other wellness getaways specifically designed for relaxation and mental health are available and becoming very popular. With most of these retreats, you will follow a program of relaxation classes, activities, yoga, or excursions all designed to heal the mind and help you de-stress. You can, of course, choose to do no classes at all, instead just enjoying the beautiful scenery and taking some time to yourself to process and reset. The choice is yours.
There is a lot to be said for time spent with close friends, especially when thinking of mental health benefits. If you have someone who helps you with your mental health issues and would love to go away with you, then go for it. However, there are also some benefits to be found in traveling alone. Some of us prefer traveling alone as it is an easy and carefree experience. Going through an airport alone means no worry about someone’s lost ticket, no debates about where to eat, shopping where you want.
If you are a confident solo traveler it can be a true escape and getaway to travel entirely alone. Top tips for traveling alone include planning well (know where you’re going!) taking great books, avoiding traditional tourist traps, and immersing yourself in local culture and language. All of these things can help with a mental health reset.
Taking a trip for the benefit of your mental health doesn’t have to be a huge upheaval. In fact, a few minutes can be enough to de-stress you and help improve mood and ongoing mental health. However, we’re not talking about taking a 15-minute walk or jog here. Mini-breaks can actually be super effective at easing mental health worries, whilst not disrupting the rest of your life. Think 2 nights in a B&B by the beach, or even just an evening stay in a neighboring town. A simple, short trip can be just as effective – and more cost-effective – than a huge vacation.
These tips regarding planning a trip, small or large, to help boost your mental health should help give you some great ideas for what might work for you. Always remember that help is available should your mental health worries become too much to handle. And, when the time is right, a short getaway is the perfect cure for many of our stresses and anxieties.