Overcoming Depression: Is Vacation Viable?

woman recovering from depression on a beach
Girl on a tropical beach with hat

Though little direct study has been conducted on this, the majority of experts conclude that travel provides significant mental health advantages. “A lot is dependent on drawing fair assumptions from what we do know,” says Dr. John Denninger, a psychiatrist, specialist in mind-body science, and head of research at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. He believes travel is unquestionably beneficial to mental health, making it a possible treatment for overcoming depression.

The good news is that vacations allow us to replenish our batteries by allowing us to vary our pace, change our surroundings, and enhance our mindset. It’s also a really crucial time for bonding with whoever is significant in your life — your partner, kids, friends, and parents.

Traveling is a kind of behavioral activation

Individuals suffering from depression have a tendency to withdraw themselves and shun things that might offer them joy, which only serves to exacerbate their condition. Participation in activities that have been proved to promote mood, such as traveling, can be the best treatment for depression.

It allows you to establish a connection with nature

A vacation that involves time spent in natural environments has been shown to have beneficial health impacts. On the mountaintop or by the seaside, our sense of well-being is sustained. For example, studies have shown that taking a stroll in nature – instead of an urban setting – may help to improve your mental health and well-being.

Travel helps people to engage with one another

Relationships with other people are one of the most essential factors in determining one’s mental health. Families, couples, groups of friends, and even those who meet for the first time as strangers have the potential to bond through new experiences when they travel. That is really crucial for one’s mental well-being.

It boosts the amount of physical activity

Although not all holidays are centered on skiing or hiking, the majority of them do include some level of physical activity. It has been demonstrated repeatedly that physical activity may help with overcoming depression.

It’s a diversion from daily stress

Instead of spending time on your phone, you’ll be spending it with the people that matter most in your life, like your family or your partner. Also, having other people around might help you avoid overthinking. There is strong evidence that social isolation and loneliness considerably raise the risk of premature death and, of course, depression. The magnitude of the risk surpasses the size of the risk associated with many other leading health indicators. According to research, adults who live alone have an 80 percent greater risk of developing depression than adults who live with other people.

Travel Challenges You

When traveling, it’s common to have to solve problems and come up with new ideas. Getting back on track is a need when your GPS takes you in the wrong direction. Getting to your final location after a flight delay or cancellation might be a challenge. The ability to preserve and develop one’s cognitive health may be aided by engaging in creative problem solving. Stress from this sort might be seen as a learning opportunity. In some ways, it’s akin to the “suffering for gain” mentality. You can’t develop if you’re constantly at ease, therefore a little suffering is a good thing. It demonstrates your tenacity.

Contact Me If You Are Looking for Professional Treatment

Of course traveling can help to ease many of the symptoms of depression. However, that doesn’t mean professional treatment should be avoided if it is necessary. If you need help with overcoming depression, feel free to contact me for a consultation.