When it comes to restorative self-care, camping checks a good amount of the boxes.
Getting out on a camping trip can help you to disconnect from everyday stress and anxiety, it helps boost your overall mood, and it can quite literally reset your biological clock so that you have increased focus and energy — and who doesn’t need more of that, right?
Even more impressive, researchers have found that just spending 3 days outdoors has a tremendous effect on our brains. It increases things like sensory perception, empathy, productive day-dreaming, and creative problem solving
Day-to-day life has a way of frying the frontal cortex of our brain – emails, texts, tasks, deadlines, chores, appointments, lists, remembering to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer – all have a way of seriously taxing our brains.
Three days is just enough time to give this part of our brains a much-needed break so that you can unwind from your regular life.
Here are some tips for maximizing the already stellar mental health benefits of camping:
- Go screen free – our reliance on technology has numerous negative effects on our minds and bodies. Camping can help us to disconnect from our screens and notifications so that we can truly begin to recharge
- Try a solo trip – getting alone time is crucial to our mental health and personal growth, yet it is always something we’re afforded. Alone time allows you to explore your own thoughts and feelings without facing the pressure of others. Camping solo can give you the time and space to really focus on yourself
- Practice mindfulness – it’s a well-known fact that meditation is good for you, but actually meditating can feel difficult. You can practice mindfulness with other activities that naturally get you in a meditative state. Watching the sunset, sitting near a babbling brook, or forest bathing are excellent ways to recharge your mind
- Get physical – moving your body in a joyful way is a surefire way to increase your physical and mental wellness. Look to add in activities like hiking, trail running, or mountain biking to your camping trip
- Try something new – camping can also be a fun new way to boost your confidence in the outdoors with a new activity. There are many ways to start small with camping if you’re new to it while still reaping the amazing mental health benefits it provides.
If you’re looking for a really effective way to feel renewed and restored quickly, camping might be a good option for you. How has camping improved your mental and emotional health?
A marketing consultant and leadership coach, Nailah never thought of herself as an outdoorsy person. But when she found herself dealing with the stresses of building a new business, being a new mother, and living in a new state away from all her family and friends, she and her husband started exploring local trails. It was an epiphany. The outdoors helped her slow down, listen to her heart, and reconnect with her passion.