I want to tell you about 5 ways that traveling can help with depression. Are you always feeling tired, demotivated, and uninspired? Do you wish to spend most of your days in bed, away from the world? Do you cancel on plans with friends and push people away? We’ve all been there, right? But some of us have it worse than others. Our depression can literally suck the life right out of us and leave us feeling empty and alone. I was one of those people. I lost my appetite, felt demotivated, and wanted to give up on life. And then something happened that changed my perspective.
I booked a vacation.
Although I didn’t want to at first, because I hadn’t saved up for as long as I wanted to (because I didn’t think I could travel on a budget), and because I didn’t think that travelling would help me feel better. But boy, I’ve never been more wrong in my life.
I’d also like to point out that booking a ‘vacation’ doesn’t necessarily have to be a trip overseas or a luxury resort getaway. Book a hotel or accommodation in your city, an hour or two away from your home. Take a road trip somewhere. You can do anything that takes you out of your every day environment. It does not need to be expensive or in a different country.
I’ve decided to make a list of the 5 ways that traveling can help with depression.
5 Ways Traveling Helped with My Depression
1. A Different Environment and Atmosphere
A change of environment and scenery will do wonders for your mind and body. Traveling removes you from all the external stressors that you’re facing. We become so used to doing the same thing and seeing the same things every day that life becomes underwhelming. We’re not excited to get up in the morning because every day it’s the same routine which leads to the same feelings of being stuck and not moving forward in life.
Being in a different environment and away from that job you don’t enjoy or those colleagues who get on your nerves (even for a few days) can help you in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. People are sometimes afraid of change because we do not like the unknown and like the predictable stuff – but little do we know, it’s the changes that can make the biggest impact in our lives.
2. Nature is an Antidepressant
Connecting with nature is known to be one of the world’s natural antidepressants. Breathing in fresh air, admiring the scenery, and clearing your mind is one of the best medicines in this world. And it’s also something that cannot be bought over the counter at a drugstore. Even the physical act of having to get up and take a walk to the park, or the beach to watch the sunset and listen to the waves, or to sit under the moonlight and count the stars is therapeutic in itself. Just taking the action will do wonders for your depression.
One of the things I love about travelling is that it gets you out and moving about. When you are depressed, you struggle to find motivation to do anything. It’s like someone took a stapler and stapled your feet to the ground and your body to your bed. But traveling has a magical way of removing those staples and making even the thought of it feel nonexistent.
4. Meeting New People
When you’re depressed and lonely, going out and meeting new people may not be something that you’d want to do. In fact, you may make it your mission to avoid those situations as best you can. I felt like that. But once I put myself in a position to meet new people and open myself up to building new friendships and relationships, I felt 100 times better. Everyone has their own problems and their own story. Meeting, getting to know, and planning events with new people helped me feel less lonely and more excited about life.
They can change your perspective and your reasonings. There’s nothing more rewarding than gaining a long-lasting friendship with friends that you made while traveling.
Insomnia. I’m sure you’ve heard of it or Googled it at least once. Insomnia is one of the main side effects of depression. Simply put, it is a sleeping disorder that is characterised by difficulty falling and staying asleep.
If you have trouble sleeping and often need sleeping pills to help you get a good night’s sleep, traveling could help you with that. Traveling puts you on a different schedule and exploring and doing activities during the day can help stimulate your mind in a more interesting way. That being said, engaging in more physically stimulating activities such as hiking or even water sports can help tire you out and almost force your body into sleep. No pills required.
To sum this all up and to conclude: this is 5 ways that traveling can help with depression and help you see the world in a different light. I know that it can help you too. And if you feel like you can only travel if you have a specific amount of savings or money in the bank, think again. Check out my post on 31 Genius Ways to Travel on a Budget and 30 Budget-Friendly Travel Destinations.