What did you learn during this lockdown?
5 July, 2020
Traveling is a far more complex activity than it seems. It is not merely boarding a flight, staying in a 5-star hotel or clicking Instagram worthy pictures. It encompasses different dimensions like learning different cultures, languages and becoming more accepting of the humongous, startling yet all-connected world, we are a part of.
Eiffel Tower, Paris.
Photographed by Samaksh Kalra
Traveling is also an essential activity that helps in improving mental health; relieving stress and anxiety and appreciating the finer things in life. Ergo, with little or no traveling, there has been a massive spike in deteriorating mental health amongst many individuals.
Statistically speaking, almost one quarter (24 percent) of UK adults have felt loneliness because of coronavirus. More than four in ten (44 percent) of young people (aged 18-24 years) have felt loneliness, anxiety and early stages of depression. (mentalhealth.org.uk)
If 10% of the world is affected physically with the virus, almost 100% of the world has been affected mentally with the pandemic. This brings the need to point out why traveling is so important and what we should learn from this global pandemic.
5 Ways in which traveling helps to improve our mental health
1- It makes you more independent and self-reliant
Visiting a new place is exciting and adventurous, but it can also be challenging and indeed, turn into a learning experience. For example, going to a new country where people don’t speak much English (like Russia) or embarking on a journey to learn a new skill or activity (Like Yoga in India) will offer the traveler a space out of his comfort zone, to learn something new and become more independent and self-sufficient.
2- It offers a new perspective of the world
Traveling helps to understand the reasoning behind stereotypes, eliminate the ‘Us V/s You’ attitude and get a better and new perspective of the world. For example, if you visit Egypt during the festival of Ramadan, you can understand their culture better and gain a deeper insight of how people are so different, yet all the same. It also helps to understand that humanity is beyond religion and not the other way around.
3- It reduces stress and anxiety
Stating the obvious, everytime you travel to a new place, you get out of your routine life and meet new people. When you are exposed to new content; landscape, people, food and culture, you tend to not stress about the same old problems and look at them with an open and fresh mind. Scientifically, you brain releases serotonin, the happy hormone of our body, which further helps in dealing with anxiety and stress.
4- It is an act of self-care
Every time you spend those extra hundred quids for a better AirBnB or exploring the hidden gems of a city, you are engaging yourself in an act of self-care or self-love. It is indubitably vital to spend time and money on yourself and allow yourself to feel happy. Savings are important but so is spending money and having a good time. After all, YOLO?
5- It gives you time to self-introspect
Mental health problems often stem from victimizing ourselves or spending too much time overthinking on a lost cause. For example, people tend to suffer depression when they have to deal with the loss of someone dear, especially for the first time. Traveling provides you enough time to think straight, introspect, accept the reality and move on in life.
There are numerous other benefits that traveling offers. But what happens when we are not allowed to travel for months? What did you learn during this lockdown?
Watch this video to learn the most valuable lesson for the year 2020. The only thing that matters in life.