The following article is written by Jen Logan, the founder of travel blog Jenz Journeys
On August 24th, 2020, my daughter, Kaelynn, passed away after an arduous journey with mental health. I take comfort in the fact that she is at peace now. With the promise of travel recommencing coupled with the one year anniversary of her passing, I thought I’d share my article on the benefits of travel for mental health. Covid has strained us all, and while it’s imperative we continue to take the proper Covid safety measures, I encourage everyone to also cherish and enjoy life to the fullest! Whether a day trip or global travel, here are some reasons why getting out and exploring can benefit us all!
Travel releases us from our bubble improving our well being
Life is a beautiful gift but the daily grind sometimes leaves us feeling less than enthusiastic. Travel breaks us away from that grind forcing us outside of our bubbles! This break allows us to mentally reset, decreasing our chance of burnout. Travel is also a natural mood booster thanks to happy endorphins it releases such as Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin – the happy helper mechanics behind the benefits covered in this article.
Travel gets you into nature
When travelling, visiting the local highlights is a must! Whether it’s for the best sunset or waterfall, nature is usually on the list! Nature has positive effects on our overall state of mind, boosting our mood, memory and ability to focus! It increases creativity and even our ability to connect with others. Enjoying nature has been found to not only reduce stress, anger and fear but also can help to reduce mild to moderate mental health challenges especially for those suffering with anxiety and depression.
Travel gives you a different perspective
Travel provides us the opportunity to see life from a different perspective; to be thankful for the things we take for granted! On Mission Trips, I visited some of the most impoverished places on the planet where some of the happiest people I’ve had the privilege of meeting monetarily had the least.
Sometimes seeing life through new eyes is the reset we need to appreciate the gifts around us enhancing our perspectives and mental health.
Travel gets you active
Exercise is an essential ingredient for a long healthy life. It has positive effects on our appearance but did you know that exercise is also a natural, almost holy grail for helping mental health?
Exercise releases happy endorphins, enhancing positive feelings and boosted energy levels for 2-3 hrs post activity. It helps to regulate sleep and creates a clearer mind. Studies have shown that exercise can be a replacement for antidepressants in mild to moderate depression offering the same positive effects on the brain as medication and has beneficial effects for those struggling with anxiety, PTSD and ADHD.
Whether it’s exploring a new city or trekking mountains our limited time while travelling encourages us to get more active!
Travel has a positive impact on our relationships
Travel promotes mindfulness, a very important mental health teaching – to live in the moment! While travelling, happy memories are made and mistakes are quickly forgiven, a positive quality in relationships to carry forward! Travel is the worlds’ biggest classroom and learning together creates growth with our loved ones!
Whether local or global the benefits of travel for mental health are many!
You can keep up with Jen on her Instagram @Jenzjourneys