The Self Report: Taking a Self Care Trip

The Self Report is a series of posts on Reena’s Edit for mental health and wellness. These may include the newest research, previous or current experiences, and methods of care by Reena or featured guests. Some subjects we will cover are body love, the importance of self care, daily rituals for mental health, recommended products or services, self valuation, and creating your future.
Self-care is an activity many do to mentally, emotionally, and physically improve their mood, their wellbeing, and weaken their anxiety. Think about what self-care may mean to you. You do not need to exert more energy; in most cases, it may be an effort to slow down the speed. Do something that tailors to your idea of a getaway to renew yourself, whether it will be energetic or calm. 

Why Travel?

It physically removes one from an area of stress in their environment — like a job loss or a breakup, a constant blockage of ideas, toxic addiction, or thoughts – whatever it may be that needs a renewing of the mind. Taking time off to go away, allows experiencing gratitude or a new perspective of living. Studies show those who travel tend to have lower stress levels. We do not have to spend thousands of dollars. An hour’s drive to a ski resort maybe be all we need, or to see our parents for a few days.


Did you know it is possible to die from overworking?


Many of us burn out every week from stress and overworking at our jobs. The weekend is not enough, though — especially with the amount of stress and a lack of sleep. Rest is fundamental to our wellbeing. Not only physical rest, but mental rest as well. 

In the U.S. alone, there are millions of unused vacation days every year. We all get caught up in work, do not make the time for ‘time off,’ or see it unnecessary, but it is. According to a study done by Project Time Off, young women are the most unlikely to use their vacation days, and we are all burning out faster than ever! Some are afraid to take those days off because of being laid off or “what will our coworkers say?” but what if you come back more reliable and more motivated than ever? They want that kind of work partner more than ever. Instead of taking time off, we overwork ourselves! We are on this cycle of overworking, which never gets relieved. 

Stress is a killer. It can kill you. It would be best if you relieved that stress, take some time off. Usually, a weekend is not enough, as it is full of outings and catching up with family and friends. Sometimes we have to uproot ourselves and get ourselves out of our current environment to allow natural rest — physically and mentally — heal and reset.

Why a solo trip?

We take vacations to tourist sites or plan a friend or family get together, and you plan to make it fun for everyone. To some, these vacations are even stressful. Nevertheless, a trip to make an impact on you, or to change you, is a trip to go away to on purpose. One travels intentionally to get away, from an ended relationship, to celebrate an achievement, or have time to think about a big decision. These trips are emotionally powerful as they give you time to think, whether you need to solve a problem or decide in which direction to head. Here you relax without being bothered by anyone or anything else.

Figure out what you want to gain from the self-empowerment or self-renewing trip away.
Are you looking to refresh your mind or looking for a break? Are you taking time away to brainstorm new ideas for a project? Are you looking to people watch to reflect on your life and the opportunities you get as opposed to others? Do you want to put life into perspective compared to those on the other side of the globe? A professor of Medicine, Dr. Fisher, says that travel expands the mind so that you can think about your situation in new ways rather than being caught in the same mental loop.Do you want to go to a retreat center to meditate, a spa to get pampered, a third world country, or a beach to relax?

Are you looking to get out of your comfort zone and try parasailing? This is both mentally and physically invigorating. When you conquer a fear, you will gain a sense of confidence or pride for it. If you went through something that shattered your confidence, you could restore it by trying things you are afraid of. 

By spending time outside, you immediately feel happier and more relaxed within minutes. Again, Dr. Fisher mentions that being out in nature improves your mood — like trail walks or outdoor yoga. A feeling of awe pours out being out in nature. 

Intentional travel takes you to another place, literally and figuratively.

-Dr. Fisher

You start to feel good (and better!) because you have new experiences, laughing, or finding a connection to life, which brings you joy. Your emotions change, and therefore you change for the better, for your mental well being. 

 A more extended trip away does the trick, not a night out at the bar. Slow travel naturally brings healing, and you recenter and start over on ‘good’ — on all the good you have and see and feel.


What To Do On a Solo Trip

  take a class, attend a show, visit a museum or gallery, treat yourself at a spa, or relax on the shore while reading a book. You may choose to volunteer on a project there to get together with a community, to discover the community, but also to give back.

When you go solo, it’s all about you. We are often selfless, but this is a chance to be selfish. You take care of everyone, but when will you take care of yourself? When will you replenish yourself? When you travel solo, you schedule your itinerary as you see fit. It may be very broad because you will have dinner at whatever time you want, and have whatever you want to eat. There is no one to please apart from yourself. You are free to experience the area as you please. 

Often we are interrupted during our “me” time by our partner, our kids, a notification, etc., but take the opportunity of freedom and space to relax and recharge. 

Tips For Traveling Solo

Book flights and hotels in advance (see my travel highlight on IG)Choose a place where you will feel comfortable and safeLet someone know where you are and schedule times to check-inDon’t draw attention to yourself Try new foods and new cafes, and people watch there. 

I repeat — We are worth spending quality time with ourselves.

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