Take a Fall Camping Trip for Better Mental Health
By Brandi Goodman
Many people start to fall victim to SAD once fall arrives. Seasonal Affective Disorder occurs at the same time every year for those who are impacted. Fall also marks the end of the camping season. Take this opportunity to take one last camping trip before your favorite spots close for the season and better your mental health.
Exposing Yourself to Natural Light
One of the therapy options for SAD is light therapy. You use a specialized light box to give yourself a mimicked version of natural lighting. Instead of using this fake light to improve your mood, actually get outside while camping to be exposed to true natural light. People tend to find themselves waking earlier when they camp and going to bed earlier as well, using nature's clock instead of the man-made version. This can help to get your circadian rhythm back on track so you can sleep the same way once you're home again.
Staying Away From the Realities of Life
Camping gets you away from everyday life. If the daily hustle and bustle is getting to you, then taking a short trip away may be what you need to recharge and improve your mood. You may be better able to handle it once you return home. You'll have the opportunity to de-stress and unwind while camping so your typical stressors do not take over your mind.
You may think that any vacation would do the same, but that's not entirely true. Staying in a hotel would give you nearly the same access as home to devices. You may still find yourself setting an alarm or looking at your phone often to check emails or catch up on work. When you're camping, you're more likely to put the device down and enjoy your time away, even if it's only because you don't get great service.
Sure, there are other ways you can get physical activity. Doing something you enjoy outdoors, however, doesn't feel like exercise. There are lots of activities to participate in while camping. You may rent a kayak or canoe and go out on the water. Perhaps you want to go for a hike. Maybe you'd like to head to the campground's play area and pretend you're a kid again. Camping encourages you to explore your surroundings and stay physically active for most of your day. Exercise helps to boost mood, so this is a terrific solution.
Enhancing your mental health should be high on your priority list. This is especially true if you know you suffer from SAD and are going to have a hard time during the fall and winter seasons. A camping trip is just one way to help yourself.
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