Nowadays, self-care refers to how we look after our mind, body, and spirit. It helps in recentering ourselves, preventing burnout, and protecting our well-being, so we are better able to show up for ourselves and others in our lives.
Just as every person comes in different shapes and sizes, so is self-care. It represents a different thing to different people. For some, self-care means buying themselves self-care gifts or playing video games, and for others, it’s traveling.
Despite the restrictions that the global pandemic has brought and the significant changes in the way people travel, it is no secret that it is not just good for your physical health but a great deal of evidence suggests that it can also benefit your mental and emotional wellness. It’s a chance to broaden your horizons, meet new people, and take a break from your routine.
So if you are thinking about why travel is the best form of self-care, here are five life-changing reasons why it does.
1. It’s the best way to relieve stress.
Stress can take a severe toll on your mental and physical health if you’re not proactively taking steps to combat it. And with today’s modern-day living, where there’s a constant need to be connected, it can feel overwhelmingly impossible to disconnect and take time off.
Luckily, this is where traveling can make all the difference. It physically removes you from your daily routine and challenges you to explore something new. If you have a hectic routine, it will allow you to get away from what’s causing stress, like work, emails, and social media. By doing so, you will be able to give your mind and body the break it deserves.
2. It broadens the mind.
There’s nothing more liberating than the experience of immersing headfirst into a new culture to appreciate what it has to offer. You’ll be able to see life from a different perspective, appreciate what you have more, and ignore the little pressures that life brings.
Most importantly, the more you meet people and get exposed to different experiences, the more you will realize the important truth that everyone has a different story to tell. And this will empower you to create your own story that you don’t have to buy into whatever society is dictating you to do.
3. It allows you to reflect.
With everything happening around us, it’s not surprising that many people feel trapped or burnt out. If you have found yourself in a rut, traveling will force you to break the status quo and open your eyes to what you seek in life and help you in becoming a better version of yourself.
Travel also allows you to disconnect from technology and stress in order to focus on yourself, whether it’s to motivate you to establish new goals or simply to confirm that you are happy where you are.
4. It sparks creativity.
In a study by the Columbia Business School professor, Adam Galinsky, visiting a foreign country and immersing yourself in its culture improves cognitive flexibility. It improves one’s depth of thought consequently giving a boost to creativity.
Meeting new people, seeing new places, trying new foods, and immersing yourself in diverse cultures inexplicably inspires you. Taking the initiative to relax and take in your surroundings will leave you with a new perspective and ideas.
5. It makes you more compassionate.
Traveling makes you humble. It is only when you begin to look and live beyond your comfort zone that you’ll understand your responsibilities to others. You will realize what life is like for most people in this world and how fortunate you are for every opportunity that comes your way.
Realizing how little your personal problems are in the greater scheme of things is liberating. It also provides you with a new perspective that may lead to a new solution or the ability to finally let go of anything that has been preventing you from living your best life.
The bottom line is, meeting new people, learning about their ways of living, and immersing yourself in their pace of life can be a healing strategy for discovering new methods to deal with your concerns, overcome your limitations, and form new friendships. It broadens your horizons in ways that only exploring the unknown can.
Today, although traveling requires a more detailed and cautious approach than before to avoid risking your safety and others, there are many travel guides available to help you plan your next epic adventure.