7 Ways to Use a Vacation to Increase Your Mental Health

There’s no denying that vacations are fun! Whether you drive a few hours out of town or you fly halfway around the world, you’re likely to find yourself smiling and laughing more than you do at home. That’s enough reason to take a vacation, but it turns out, there are many other reasons to take a vacation. Especially because it can increase your mental health!

Take Your Mind off a Challenging Life Situation

Life throws curve balls. Many of us are dealing with serious challenges that are difficult to escape in our everyday lives. For example, someone is sexually assaulted every 73 seconds in America. Some face bullying at work while others are dealing with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health challenges.

You should face your problems and work through them, but it’s also important that you take the time to forget about your problems, as your life is more than the challenges you’re facing. A vacation can help you do that.

When you’re in a new place having new experiences, it’s easy to get lost in the moment, which means you aren’t thinking about your problems back home. A trip is a great way to reinvigorate yourself for the challenges that lie ahead.

Get Closer to Friends and Family

There are many ways to get closer to friends and family. A few ideas include:

  • Ask questions when you’re talking
  • Be reliable and present
  • Be open and honest about how you feel
  • Remember important things and people in their lives

Doing these things is a great start, but if it’s the grind of everyday life that has got your relationship in a rut, a vacation can be a great way to fix it.

 

A vacation can provide you with an atmosphere that enables you to check the things off of this list when getting closer to friends and family. You’re automatically present, and because you’re spending quality time together, you’re able to learn more about them. A vacation comes with shared experiences too, which you can always reminisce again about later.

Expand Your Mind with a Different Perspective

It’s easy to get stuck in certain ways of thinking as the monotony of everyday life carries on. You do the same things and talk to the same people, which can leave you with a restricted mindset. Travel can expand your mind and change your perspective.

You’ll discover that life isn’t always black and white, and the way the press covers certain areas or countries isn’t always how they really are. You’ll expose yourself to different kinds of people who can open your eyes to new ways of thinking, you’ll try different foods, and experience different cultures that will break you out of the mold you’ve created for yourself. Many travelers find that they’re more compassionate, open, and understanding after a vacation.

Boost Your Creativity

No matter how creative you are, struggling with creative energy is normal. It’s even normal for artists who make creativity a part of their livelihood. Seeing the same things every day, talking to the same people every day, and doing the same things every day don’t make us very creative.

Experiencing new things on the other hand, can make you creative!

Many artists, and even people who aren’t normally very creative in their everyday lives, are inspired when traveling to new places. Photographers can be inspired by unique architecture, artists inspired by nature, and chefs inspired by new delicacies.

No matter how creative you normally are, try and keep a journal while you’re on vacation. It’s a great way to document your journey and get those creative juices flowing.

Reduce Stress

One of the most convincing reasons to take a vacation is to reduce stress. After all, most of us have plenty of stress that we would like to get rid of.

Traveling can get you away from the problems that plague you at the office. Fresh air, sunshine, play, and relaxation are all natural stress-busters, as is the freedom to know you have complete control over your day.

Unfortunately, taking a vacation doesn’t automatically mean you’ll return home feeling refreshed. Vacations can be stressful too! Make sure you your vacation de-stresses you instead of re-stressing you by:

  • Wrapping things up at work before you leave and not checking your email while you’re gone.
  • Bring everything you need (eye mask, pillow, etc.) to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Plan an extra buffer day when you return so you don’t have to go back to work right away.

Build Your Confidence

Everyone suffers from a lack of confidence every once in a while. You can reclaim your confidence with a vacation.

Not all vacations are equal. Although planning a vacation can help you regain your confidence no matter what it entails, nothing boosts your confidence like traveling solo.

Not only does it give you complete freedom, because you don’t have to consider anyone else’s wants and needs while you’re traveling, you’re completely reliant on yourself to eat, find a place to stay, and look for things to do.

Solo travel is especially great for those who are shy. It’s easier to practice being yourself around people you never have to worry about seeing again if things don’t go according to plan!

Rediscover Yourself

Feeling stuck in a rut? With so many outside demands on our time, it’s easy to feel like you’ve lost yourself. Taking a vacation can help you rediscover who you are and who you really want to be.

A vacation enables you to see how you behave and react in a new atmosphere that makes you feel excited and alive. It can remind you what life is really about, and how you want life to be when you return home. A vacation can also provide you with clarity before making a big life decision.

Go on vacation to have a good time, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that vacations are all fun and games. There are plenty of ways you can use a vacation to boost your mental health and happiness!

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