Tip From A Therapist: Go Hiking Or Camping

There are many things that you can do to improve your mental health, one of which is giving yourself an opportunity or chance to explore the beauty of nature. You can go on camping or hiking with your friends and family members. According to a therapist, the moment you do this activity, you will not only become physically active. At the same time, your mood will improve, and it will have a positive impact on your life in general. As such, it is best for you to find time to do it as soon as possible.

Craig A. Anderson, Ph.D., a professor of psychology noted that “Experiencing awe in nature is a powerful way to impact people’s psychology, even as they’re doing something they really like to do.” Dr. Anderson added, “By taking a few minutes to enjoy flowers that are blooming or a sunset in your day-to-day life, you also improve your well-being.”


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In today’s article, we are going to discuss some of the essential things to remember when it comes to camping or hiking. Before anything else, it is significant to highlight the fact that exploring the wonders of nature can be scary, especially if you are going to do it for the first time. As such, you have to be cautious so that you will not get hurt or your companion in the process. Below are some of the things to keep in mind:


Plan Your Trip Ahead Of Time


The first step that you must do is to plan the trekking activity at least a month before the scheduled date. Take note that preparation is the ultimate key to ensure that you will have a good time for the entire duration of the camping session. One of the things that you have to consider is the location of the area. Remember that there are also other families and group of friends who may be interested in visiting the said trekking area. If there is a necessity to make a reservation, be sure to call the office in charge so that you can already get a slot.


Research About The Place


After finalizing the scheduled date for the activity, the next step is to learn more about your selected location. What is the main reason why you want to camp at that site? What are the frequent reviews or feedback of the people who have visited it? Is it okay to bring children during the activity, or is it strictly prohibited? How much does it cost to gain access to the campsite? These are some of the questions that you have to ask first before booking the place. As much as possible, keep yourself updated about the current things happening in the area.


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Look For Great Companion


To make the trip more fun and enjoyable, the next step is to start looking for the people whom you will invite to join you for the activity. Keep in mind that the persons who will accompany you on this exciting journey are the same people who can make the experience worthwhile or worthless. Because of this, you have to be careful in selecting your companion. You can bring your entire family with you or some friends from the office. What is essential is to make sure that they are 100% on-board to the idea of trekking or hiking.


Disconnect From Social Media


When you go on a trekking activity, it is best if you will make an effort to keep yourself away from social media. Social media can be a burden for your peace of mind because it is addicting. Sanam Hafeez, Psy.D., a neuropsychologist, emphasized: “When someone is [addicted to] social media, they may feel anxious and become irate or snippy if unable to access social media due to weak Wi-Fi, technical issues with their smartphone or computer, or if the social platform is acting up.” She added, “Just as an alcoholic may experience tremors or headaches or even nausea if they don’t drink, someone with social media addiction may find themselves biting their nails, excessively tapping their foot, short tempered and pent up with anxiety.”

Always put in mind that the primary purpose of going out there and exploring the forest or the mountain is to recharge yourself. After spending draining days at the office or from your business, it is essential for you to take a break. Do not be afraid to disconnect even for one to two days, depending on your schedule. All you must do is to keep yourself away from your mobile phone. If possible, it is also suggested to leave your gadgets at home. An exception can be made with cameras.


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Bring The Essentials


Safety for yourself and everyone must be your number one priority when it comes to hiking, trekking or camping. Remind yourself that you have to find time in gathering the essential things to bring so that nothing will be forgotten at home. Some of the items that you must bring include flashlight, a supply of water and food, protective gear, and a first-aid kit. Aside from this, you must also take note of the proper attire to wear when enjoying the activities mentioned above. Failure to do any of this can be dangerous or may cause inconvenience on your part. It is suggested to pack all these essentials at least one week before you leave for the activity.


Camping and hiking are also forms of exercise, and exercise is equally good for the body and mind. James Blumenthal, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist based in Boston said, “There’s good epidemiological data to suggest that active people are less depressed than inactive people. And people who were active and stopped tend to be more depressed than those who maintain or initiate an exercise program.” Be one with nature and feel its wonders. Keep on exploring its beauty every chance you get.


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