It’s nearly winter in New England and the rapidly dropping temperatures leave many New Englanders dreaming of warmer climates and vacation vibes.

In an article published in Forbes Travel Guide in August 2018, Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed how taking time out to travel for pleasure (so, work trips don’t count!) can dramatically affect your overall mental health and well-being.

Taking regular vacations can:

– lower men’s risk of death by 21 percent and mortality from cardiovascular disease by 32 percent
– increase women’s overall happiness in marriage and relieve stress and tension
– improve your mood and temporarily help to boost productivity
– increase creativity in both men and women
– increase satisfaction with physical health and mental well-being

Even though there are clear benefits to having a little fun in the sun and channeling your inner-explorer, 52 percent of Americans let their allotted vacation time go unused.

Psychology Today reminds Americans that travel also provides you with an arsenal of mental ‘zen spaces’ you can visit time and time again whenever you need to step away from the stress of daily life. Mindfulness techniques ‘often recommend returning to a peaceful memory to help restore calm and balance anywhere you are’ (Psychology Today, March 26, 2018).

Sometimes it isn’t realistic to set aside a week or two to hop a plane and visit faraway lands. Even just a quick weekend getaway can leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed and can strengthen connections with those you love – and strengthen the connection to your own inner-peace.

travel mental health