It has been said “We can never have enough of nature” and recent studies are showing us how getting outside and being amongst nature can improve your mental health.
Hitching up your caravan or jumping being the steering wheel of your motorhome is the first step to getting you at one with wildlife and focussing on things you enjoy. In 2019 it was found that 71% of us find happiness in adventure and freedom. So, whether your drug of choice is biking, hiking or surfing, camping offers you a way to completely focus on that hobby for a few days without external distractions and therefore, improve your mental wellbeing.
It is a fact that being amongst green space; forests, fields, and meadows, and immersing yourself in blue space; lakes, rivers, and the sea, reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, especially for those in corporate office jobs. 21% of the UK population work behind desks, meaning they spend most of their life inside 4 walls. Taking a trip outside, whether for a weekend or a week, has a positive impact on your emotions, mental wellbeing and can even make you more productive when you return to the office.
This is down to a few factors:
Firstly – Digital detox!
One aspect of camping that has a positive impact on our noggins is being able to block out our modern-day world, usually due to bad phone signal that comes with going off grid. With no phone signal you can’t constantly check your phone for new notifications or scroll mindlessly through Instagram. A recent article by Forbes, showed us how our phones and social media are taking a toll on our minds during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it isn’t good. By taking a weekend away in your leisure vehicle, a digital detox comes easily. You learn how to listen to your own thoughts, converse with your family, spend time with your friends and be IN the moment.
Secondly – Freedom from time!
In Japan, Forest Bathing is an enforced government scheme to improve public wellbeing. Forest bathing involves being alone in nature, with no watches or phones, to find mental freedom. It is surprising how waking up every morning and seeking adventure without limits makes us feel. This sense of freedom is rarely found in our daily lives, whether through work pressure or the chores at home. Even when going to a hotel for your holiday you don’t have the complete freedom that camping has to do your own thing – camping gives us this.
When we sleep under the stars, whether it is a tent or a all singing and dancing motorhome, it’s as though we press the reset button and we are more present to what’s around us, pulling our thoughts away from the stresses of modern life.
Thirdly – Moving your body!
Camping sparks a natural increase to our energy levels and activity levels. Exercise is one of the most effective natural antidepressants, alleviating mild-to-moderate depression and lowering anxiety levels, which in turn helps to generate a more positive outlook on life. Exercising in a natural environment (i.e., not in a gym) allows you to set your own pace. It offers a non-competitive environment, meaning you can ‘start low and go slow’. The focus is no longer on exercise but enjoying your environment and soaking up the experience. Exercising in this manor means you’re more likely to enjoy it and do it again. It only takes around five minutes of getting physical in a green space for it to start producing positive emotions, and this is enhanced even more in blue space!
So this summer, why not give your brain a holiday and go camping!