It is almost August, which means it’s time to squeeze in last minute vacations and spend time with the kids before they head back to school. For the perfect mini-vacation, take advantage of the remaining warm summer nights by sleeping under the stars. If you aren’t sure about swapping a hotel room for a tent, take a look at these social, emotional and mental health benefits of camping:
Enjoy time with loved ones: Camping gives us the opportunity to unplug from our phones and TVs and spend more time enjoying the moment with loved ones by roasting marshmallows and hiking. Building these memories and social ties can improve self-esteem while reducing depression and loneliness. Laughing and joking with friends and family is an excellent stress buster that boosts our mood both in the short- and long-term.
Boosts self-esteem: If camping is a foreign idea, it might be just what you need to try. When we try something new we build our self-efficacy, becoming more empowered in our own abilities. Efficacy fosters self-esteem, an essential component of mental and emotional wellness. Trying something new enables us to better cope with stressful situations in the future.
Improves your sleep: Sleeping in a tent may not seem to be ideal for improving sleep quality. However the exposure to natural light can be just what your sleep routine needs. Falling asleep at dusk and waking to the sunrise can help harmonize your body’s internal clock. This can improve sleep hygiene, which is extremely beneficial for those with mental health illness such as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and depression.
Camping doesn’t have to be an adventure 100 miles away. When I was a child, one of my favorite memories was of setting up a tent in our very own backyard. Although we were just yards from our home, it felt a world away. This simplistic get-away offers a vacation from the stress of everyday life, as we spend time with loved ones and make memories that last a lifetime.