Among the many effects of the recent Covid-19 pandemic has been a widespread deterioration in mental health, felt most keenly by those who are living alone, without access to outdoor green spaces. Polling from the Mental Health Foundation in November found that 54% of the population had experienced feelings of worry as a result of the pandemic.
Rail provider Govia have collaborated with support charity Samaritans to offer training and guidance to their staff, having seen a 57% increase in life-saving interventions since 2019. January is typically a difficult time of year for those suffering from depression – and the covid pandemic has worsened things.
Among the best remedies for feelings of this kind is a trip to one of the country’s many national parks – while lockdown restrictions have reduced traffic to the Lake District, the Peak District, and the Cornish Coast, there’s still plenty of reason to suppose that an outdoor holiday, even if it’s just a short one to the English countryside, might be just the thing to raise the spirits when the restrictions eventually ease. You can take a train down from London to the south coast to experience all of the benefits of the English countryside. You’ll thank us later!
Why is the outdoors beneficial for mental health?
And this applies throughout the year, whether there’s a pandemic ongoing or not. Let’s take a look at a few of the advantages of travel to the English countryside, where your mental health is concerned.
If you’re traveling from place to place in the countryside, you’ll get the thrill of adventure. Having all of that natural beauty to inspire you might help you to escape a creative rut, and the experience might even have meditative qualities. It’s no coincidence that some of history’s greatest creative minds were also keen travelers. Who knows? You might even decide to set up a travel blog following your experience.
If you’re used to the quality of air in a busy urban center like London, then the experience of clean air outside of the city might be a bracing one. Clean air will obviously help with respiratory conditions, but it’ll also boost your mood. The air quality in the English countryside is far better than in the cities.
If you’re going to really see what the English countryside has to offer, then you’ll need to walk. Strap on a pair of high-quality hiking boots and start clambering up hillsides, and traipsing through forests. If you’re racking up significant mileage every day that you travel, then you’ll get a significant endorphin hit. Wear yourself out, and your quality of sleep will tend to improve. You’ll feel better about yourself too.
If you throw yourself into a hike in the English countryside with only a vague idea of where you’re going and how you’re going to get there, then you’ll be able to persuade yourself that you’ll be able to cope with small forms of adversity. This is great for those of us who like to control every aspect of a trip. Travel and exploration allow us to venture just a little outside of our comfort zones, which can be invaluable in taking care of your mental health.