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6 Reasons why a holiday can boost your mental wellbeing

Our mental wellbeing is something we’ve grown to focus upon and look after, since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic. Since then, more of us have made an effort to enhance our mental health every day. At Free Spirit, we enjoy lunchtime walks in beautiful grounds. It helps us to admire nature, enhance our moods and reduce fatigue.
 
Walking in nature and the fresh air is one way to look after our mental wellbeing. As it’s mental health awareness week on the 10th May, we wanted to explore some of the reasons why holidays are good for our mental health. Plus, we have some breaks to share that can boost our minds, health, and wellbeing too.
 
The best thing we can do for our mental wellbeing – is to invest time looking after it. By the end of reading this blog, we hope we’ve inspired you to create a trip to enhance your health. After all, you have something great to look forward to after booking one. Science even proves that planning a holiday is as good for your mind as the experience itself!

6 reasons why a holiday is good for our mental wellbeing

1: Holidays boost happiness

Planning and experiencing holidays can help to rewire our brains. Also, they enhance our mood and self-confidence. When we have a boost in our self-confidence we’re empowered to do things for ourselves… like explore a destination we’ve always wanted to visit! During these explorations, we learn unique things about a country. We may even try a new activity such as surfing or help a developing community.

Doing new things and stepping outside of our comfort zone is how the brain rewires itself. In response, endorphins in your brain increase, which creates increased feelings of happiness. Plus, once we’ve mastered something new, we may feel even happier.

learning to surf

2: Holidays reduce the symptoms of stress

There are many benefits of having a daily routine. Yet, a routine with demands and stress won’t maintain positive mental wellbeing. What we should include daily is time to focus on things we find meaningful, and interesting in our life. In short, we should try to practice the Dane’s concept of ‘Hygge’. Hygge means to ‘take time away from the daily rush to enjoy the good things in life’.

Plus, when we remove ourselves from daily activities and environments that cause us anxiety the symptoms of stress are reduced. So, we should book holidays in restful, calming environments, with our loved ones. If we can do so, we can reduce the risk of a heart attack too.

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When our holidays help us escape from routine, our minds can relax, recharge, rejuvenate and reflect. In response, our cortisol levels lower and we soon begin to feel calmer and content. It’s in environments like these, that allow us to focus on ourselves…

forest bathing is good for mental wellbeing.

 

3: Holidays provide time to focus and re-evaluate

You can feed your mind by immersing yourself in different cultures. These types of experiences heighten your state of mindfulness. Leaving you to reflect and focus on your own life. While away, you may re-evaluate your own lifestyle and values before refreshing them.

For instance, if the majority of your diet is red meat and a few vegetables. Then you decide to travel to Norway and eat Nordic dishes, which include fish, high-quality carbohydrates, and root vegetables. On your return, you may wish to continue following this healthier diet. In the long term, you’ll enhance your lifestyle, (after re-evaluating what you did eat).

Following a healthy lifestyle and eating well is one way to look after your mental wellbeing. It will also reduce your risk of many types of illness.

a nordic diet is good for our mental wellbeing

4: Holidays help you to recover from illness

Travelling can give you time to recover from illness or a major transition. When you escape from trauma to travel, you leave your worries behind – as well as the mindset you had when you were ill. While travelling, we interact with new cultures and different people when putting ourselves in new environments. In response, we can find new passions and interests. These new interests then become our focus instead.
 
On the other hand, if we feel we need to toughen up m after an illness, putting ourselves in new environments where we feel excited and intimidated at the same time can help…

travelling unaided is good for our mental wellbeing

5: Travel makes you mentally resilient

Have you been in a situation where you’ve felt both excited and intimidated at the same time? For example, when you face difficulties, like arriving in a foreign town, and need to navigate to your hotel?

With time, you figure out the best route and mode of transport to get there. The more of these situations you find yourself in, the more mentally resilient you become. This is because you’ve had time to enhance your problem-solving and creative skills.

women wearing a head scarf

6: Travel enhances creativity

There are links between creativity and international travel. Especially if we engage with the local culture of a destination. For instance, we could attend events like a dragon boat race in China. Or, taste a country’s traditional cuisine by visiting a family-run restaurant. While enjoying these cultural experiences, our “depth and integrativeness of thought” enhances. Meanwhile we are forced to look at things from a new perspective. Each leads to a boost in creativity. Even better: the longer we’re away engaging with different cultures the more creative we can become.

Whether visiting a country for a week or travelling for a year, travel increases our sense of creativity, by causing an uptick in our mind’s ability to create happy thoughts. In response, we’re inspired to see ourselves in a new way and distance ourselves from any challenges we’ve been experiencing. On our return, we have the ability to find solutions to resolve them.

a dragon boat race

 

With all these reasons and benefits you can reap from travel and holidays – what are you waiting for? At Free Spirit, we believe that everyone should have the freedom to travel. Yet, if you can find a holiday that enhances your mental health and wellbeing, each one will be invaluable. For instance, wellbeing breaks and wellness holidays are suitable for all. Here are some of our favourite wellness holidays which can enhance our mental wellbeing…

 

Holidays which are good for our mental wellbeing

Wellness Retreats

Wellness retreats are not difficult to reach within the UK or abroad. Each has various benefits for your health. For example, creative retreats can help reduce levels of fatigue, while you do creative activities. Or opting for a mindfulness retreat can enhance your emotional wellness, when strolling through woodlands. Whichever one you visit, each can teach you healthier practices and techniques that you can use to relax in the long term.

Dog Walking Holidays

Dog walking holidays are great because they can be done at any time of the year. They instantly get you out and active. Then watching your dog having a good time makes you feel happy too. Plus, during any walking holiday within nature, we’re given the opportunity to practice mindfulness, pause to listen out for wildlife around us and admire nature.

Forest Bathing breaks

Forest bathing is a way to watch the changing of the seasons in different countries around the world, such as the fall in Canada, or spring in Japan. After arriving at our chosen natural location, the aim is to slow down, be quiet, disconnect from our digital lives and immerse ourselves in nature. We can do so by tuning into our senses and the environment around us.

For over 800 years, this act has been a stress prevention intervention in Japanese culture. Today, it’s described as nature therapy. The benefits of this therapy include a natural uplift in energy from exposure to the sun and fresh air. Any stress hormones and depression symptoms are alleviated, Enhancin our well-being and mood.

forest bathing is good for our mental wellbeing

 

Free Spirit Travel Insurance for mental wellbeing breaks

We hope you now have an understanding of why holidays are a good way to enhance your mental wellbeing. Also, you can see from our blog, that there are some wellness holidays, trips, and activities, which can enhance your mental health while away too. Wherever you explore, you’ll soon notice the benefits. You’ll also have peace of mind when packing Free Spirit Travel Insurance.

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