Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Country Escape- 5 Benefits

Many people's natural reaction to stress or a mental illness is the feeling that you need to run away. You're not safe in the here and now and somewhere else will be better. Although I don't advise disappearing into the wilderness I do advise getting away from it all every now and then.

I don't tend to go on long holidays or go abroad since I became too anxious to fly but we do go on a number of short breaks throughout the year. We tend to go glamping and stay in huts or pods in rural locations or near the sea. We stay in caravans or our tent sometimes too. We've even camped less than a 20 minute drive from home before just to get away.

There are many reasons I think this has helped me recover from my depression and anxiety and here's my top 5 reasons why...
  1. fresh air- being able to breathe in fresh air that smells amazingly clean, it helps wake me up on a morning and feel fresh through the day but makes me tired by the evening and then helps me sleep a lot better than I ever do in a building
  2. peace and quiet- being able to listen to natural sounds, having no phone signal and no television available, not hearing the noise of neighbours and the city life
  3. change of scene- getting away from your 'everyday life' can make it feel as though you have escaped, it gives you new sensory experiences- sound, sight, smell and can bring back memories of places you love and can revisit
  4. quality time- I go away with my husband, my dog and sometimes my mum and her dog come too, we get to spend time together doing nothing much, we can talk or just all sit enjoying the view or take a walk, there's no pressure to do anything except relax
  5. It's all good!- good night's sleep, good views, good company, good mood, good experience, good to challenge yourself, good for photography, good for relaxation, good for readers, good for daydreamers, good for walking/hiking, good for your health and your happiness
Whether you take a day out or just have a day sat in your garden or local park you can feel the benefits. But if you can try a short break then it can do wonders. The fact that you know you have something booked gives you something to look forward to too or you may just decide to go away on a whim. Here's some idea's you could try...
  • camping/ glamping no matter what the weather
  • hang out your washing to dry
  • jog or walk around the park with your dog
  • going to farms, the countryside, the beach and forests
  • walking instead of taking the car for short journeys
  • walking barefoot on sand, grass, in streams and in the sea
  • having a picnic with friends
  • read, paint, colour in or write in the garden/outdoors
  • al fresco cafes and sitting in the garden for meals
  • open your windows to let fresh air in
  • book a boat trip or hire a canoe, pedalo or rowing boat
  • outdoor assault courses
  • build a snowman
  • have a water fight
  • join an outdoor sports club
  • join a Nordic walking group or go on a hike
Be careful that you can get to your destination or complete your activity safely and you aren't driving if you don't feel able or feel drowsy, tired, unwell. Ensure you aren't alone in vulnerable places or out at night alone. Let your loved ones know where you are and when you should return or even better take them with you. You don't have to talk just walk or sit and watch the world go by together. Even better still hold hands or cuddle up in the outdoors to enjoy the weather or keep cosy. 

Always remember: appropriate clothing and footwear, sunscreen, let someone know where you are, water and a charged mobile phone for big outings :) Keep safe!

Much love,
Becky xx

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