Anxiety or sadness is something we all feel during tough times. Once we give it some time and effort, the sadness and anxiety tend to fade away. Depression, on the other hand, is nothing like being sad or anxious. Depression is a very serious medical condition that needs to be treated by a certified medical professional.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions and stigma attached to depression. People suffering from depression can’t just “get better” or “get out of it”. Depression impedes your regular life and disrupts the way you normally behave. It has nothing to do with things like emotional weakness or flaws in a person. Much like physical health issues, depression is a mental health issue that needs immediate medical attention.
How to Fight Depression?
There are many kinds of depression: major, dysthymia, postpartum, seasonal, atypical, psychotic, bipolar, and situational. Likewise, the treatment for each kind of depression varies. However, scientific studies have proven that travelling helps alleviate any kind of depression. The road to recovery is long but staying strong and fighting hard is the only way forward. While it certainly isn’t a cure, travelling can reduce the intensity of the symptoms and help depressed individuals feel better. Here are some wonderful ways travel can help you fight depression.
1. Travel can give you a change of environment
Taking some time away from your daily routine can do wonders for you. You get a chance to take a break from your life and enjoy the beauty of the world. Since you’re in a completely new environment, you are more focused on what you need to do next, rather than think about the factors that keep you down. If you’re opting to travel solo, get out of your hostel/ hotel room often to avoid any feelings of loneliness.
2. You experience different types of culture:
Travelling to various parts of the world expands your horizons and opens your eyes to the beautiful cultures of the world. You learn to respect and accommodate other people’s beliefs and traditions. You learn that you’re a part of something bigger and better by travelling often. Watching the ways other people from unknown cultures navigate their life will change your perspective on your own life.
3. Travel restores your confidence and sense of self:
Depression has a way of obliterating one’s self-respect, confidence, and sense of self. Going on a trip greatly boosts your confidence, so this can be one practice to increase your confidence. Since you will have to interact with unknown people in an unknown place, you will learn many skills and gain a lot of experience. True, it may initially seem daunting. However, at the end of your trip, you will notice a positive difference in your personality and attitude to life. Travel is a powerful way to instil a strong sense of self and restore the lost confidence in your abilities.
4. Solo travel for first-timers with depression:
Many people suffering from depression often feel travel is overwhelming or scary. Especially if you’re travelling alone, joining a tour helps you overcome any feelings of fear and intimidation. Some of the best San Francisco tours and other countries tours offer guided tours but also allow for individual exploration. This is an amazing way to experience a new place in a safe and controlled manner along with other tourists. This also offers you a chance to make good conversation and connect with other travellers.
5. You get to meet people from different walks of life:
When you’re at home, you regularly meet the same people, which act as a constant reminder of your current situation. When you travel, you will be able to talk to people coming from various backgrounds. You’ll get a chance to interact with locals and learn about their way of life. Encountering people with different perspectives can help you enhance your worldview, open your mind, and reduce the intensity of your negative feelings.
6. Travel keeps you active:
Physical activity is very important when you are battling depression. While depression can leave you mentally exhausted, staying active can enhance your mood and alleviate anxiety. Travelling is an amazing way to stay fit and fight your inner demons. Staying on your toes improves your well-being and makes you feel good about yourself. Traveling also takes your mind off of your negative thoughts and worries.
7. You enrich your knowledge of the world:
When you travel more, you open yourselves to the wonders of the world. You get to learn about various people’s backgrounds, culture, traditions, history, and their way of life. If you’re visiting a non-English speaking country, you could even learn a new language by communicating with local folks and taking part in their community-building activities. Gaining new experiences to share and exciting stories to tell is an excellent way to beat the blues.
8. Travel boosts your creativity:
Were you an amazing painter or writer before you were suffering from depression? Is it too hard to go back to your hobby? Many studies prove that travel inspires people and stimulates your creative juices. After watching that beautiful sunrise, take up that paintbrush and start painting. Indulging in your passion can go a long way to breaking free from the shackles of depression.
9. Travel increases your feelings of happiness:
Feelings of sadness and hopelessness heighten when you’re close to the aspects that act as triggers. Planning for a trip to take a break from your daily regime can automatically boost your happiness. So, start planning for your long vacation, focus on nurturing yourself, and remember to leave a lot of time for relaxation. To make your feelings of happiness last, get a few souvenirs that remind you of the fun trip you had embarked upon.
10. Travel opens your eyes to the beauty of the world:
The world is much bigger than we can possibly imagine. There is an exciting adventure awaiting us at every corner of the world. So, get out there and enjoy what the world has to offer. Use the power of travel to help you win the fight against depression.