Vacations are fun, but did you realize they can benefit your mental health? Here are six ways to feel better physically and mentally before, during and after a trip.
1. Elevated Happiness
It may be hard to believe, but simply planning a vacation can make you feel happier. Research indicates that people can have a mood boost for eight weeks before going on the trip. It is great to know that the benefits of your getaway begin long beforehand. Planning where you would like to go, booking a room at the Hampton Inn Erie PA, and finding attractions can help you build up happiness-inducing anticipation.
A vacation may also break the cycle of stress-induced feelings that can lead to depression and anxiety. When you enjoy yourself, your body has a sense of calm that produces feel-good hormones.
2. Improved Motivation
Staying in constant work mode can decrease your productivity. Studies have demonstrated that the monotony and burnout from working without a break are real. They can lead to memory problems and the inability to function well. On the other hand, a vacation gives your body and mind a break. You can come back from your trip with a feeling of motivation and purpose. You may also find you can focus more easily on your work.
3. Better Self-Care
It can be tough to remember to care for yourself when you are working and caring for others. When you feel like you need to put yourself at the bottom of the list, keep in mind that you cannot care for others or perform at your peak when you’re running on fumes. If you cannot commit to a prolonged vacation, aim for whatever length you can. A little self-care is better than none at all. The increased productivity and better mood are worth the effort.
4. Feelings of Physical Wellness
One study asked people how they felt after a getaway. Three days post-vacation, people reported fewer physical problems, a better mood and improved sleep quality than before the trip. The benefits continued for five weeks, especially those who were satisfied with their vacation and enjoyed some personal time. This study points to the impact that mental health has on your physical well-being.
Chronic stress takes a toll on the body. It sometimes leads to high blood pressure and heart disease. One study showed that people who vacation every two years have a more negligible risk of heart attacks or coronary heart disease than those who take a vacation every six years.
5. Stronger Family Ties
If you are vacationing with family and loved ones, you create a common bond by spending time and sharing experiences with each other. A vacation can give your family memories to talk about for decades. The stories may be good, like when you enjoyed a week of beautiful weather at the beach. Even the not-so-good ones can be interesting to remember, like when your flight was delayed, and you spent hours exploring the airport. The point is that you share the experiences and bond through them.
6. Improved Cognitive Skills
Stepping out of your comfort zone is good for your brain. Travel exposes you to new locations, people who do things differently than you, new foods, and much more. It can give you a fresh perspective and help you evaluate how you solve problems or handle situations. It can even influence you to set goals and assess what is important to you.
The next time you take a vacation, you can be assured you’re doing much more than having fun. You are improving your mental state, boosting your physical health and working on your life goals.