Everyone needs a mental health break, but for RVers, it may look a bit different. While the concept is the same, how it’s done can differ for those living or traveling in motorhomes.
Whether you’re a full-timer or saving up vacation days, a camper is a perfect little hideaway from the world. Until it’s not.
Today we’ll cover the importance of self-care and how to get it no matter what your life looks like.
What Is a Mental Health Day?
Everyone deals with stress in some form or another. Whether you’re dealing with personal issues or just tired of the day-to-day grind, we all need a break.
A mental health day is a scheduled break for personal time. While it can look very different from person to person, some proven things can help you unwind.
These days, everyone deals with constant distractions. It can feel impossible to disconnect entirely from work, friends, or family. And if you happen to live in close quarters with your loved ones, you may start to feel burnt out.
If you’re feeling easily agitated or struggling with focus, it’s probably the stress. Other signs include exhaustion, anxiety, and lack of motivation. You may also start to feel detached.
While RVers have a lot of freedom to go wherever they choose, they still need a mental health break from time to time.
Why Do RVers Need Mental Health Days?
Mental health days are essential for everyone, even full-time RVers. But even if you’re only on the road occasionally, some stressful issues can start to creep into your vacation.
No matter how wonderful your camper is, the tight quarters can get old, especially when you have to share space. The little frustrations can add up, like finding five minutes of peace.
Even when things are going well, stress can creep in. But as soon as a problem crops up, it all gets magnified. A sudden change in the weather can put a wrinkle in your plans. Troubles with your campground or mechanical issues can mean you have no good place to sleep.
The farther you travel, the harder it is to connect with your support network. And if you have serious issues, it can be difficult to handle when you’re in unfamiliar territory. Finding ways of lowering your baseline stress so you can address major problems with a clear head is important when living or traveling in an RV.
Pro Tip: Give yourself peace of mind by learning the Right Way to Set Up an RV Campsite.
How To Take a Mental Health Day as an RVer
While you may not be near a spa, you can still find plenty of ways to practice self-care. But the first step is to have a plan. Prepare to unplug from social media and do whatever you can to leave work and other obligations tucked away.
It’s crucial to find a quiet, peaceful place. While sharing a mental health day with someone is possible, RVers may need a break from people, including those they share the space with. Take the chance to make some space for yourself.
Once you’re ready, there are plenty of ways to unwind. Simply spending time outside is good for the body and soul. The sounds of wildlife and the feelings of being in nature can soothe your tech-addled brain.
Research shows that being near large bodies of water can help you work on your inner peace. They create a feeling of awe and provide soothing sensory experiences.
But location isn’t everything. It would be best to choose how you’ll spend the day mindfully. You’re more likely to get the most out of your break when you have specific plans.
What Activities Are Best for Mental Health?
Sometimes the simplest actions can make all the difference. For example, you can simply sit and meditate for a few minutes and notice how quickly you relax.
But it’s also essential to spend time doing your favorite things. For some people, that’s catching up on their to-read list. Others may prefer crafting.
You may also prefer to get active. And it doesn’t have to be anything intense. A leisurely 45-minute walk, especially when you’re not distracted by your phone or friends, has similar stress-relieving effects as REM sleep. As you move, take the time to notice your thoughts. It can help you figure out what you need to work on.
Yoga or other types of stretching can also help you work things out. If your body is stressed, your mind will be, too.
A mental health day is a good time for RVers to review goals and plan to reach them. Write or draw your thoughts and feelings in a journal (not on your phone!). You’ll likely notice your creative energy flowing more freely.
Pro Tip: Mental health can play a big impact on Why People Quit RVing.
What Can RVers Do To Make Mental Health a Priority?
Many people consider mental and physical health two different things, but they’re deeply connected. Taking care of your body is essential to protect both.
That means staying hydrated and getting plenty of exercise. Of course, you also want to prioritize sleep and get into the habit of eating better. But that just helps you improve the baseline.
A lot of life’s stresses need mindful attention. But if you’re constantly overbooked, you won’t have time. So create space for yourself and make goals to keep you motivated.
And even if you’re thousands of miles from friends and family, do what you can to stay connected. For some, that can mean writing postcards or letters to loved ones back home.
Luckily, RVers have great opportunities to care for their mental health. Hitting the road in your camper can help you feel more capable and inspire self-discovery. It also gives you plenty of options for exercise, as well as awe-inducing moments of peace.
Get out of your comfort zone, have adventures, and then take some time to relax in the afterglow.
Take Time to Unwind
RVers have a unique opportunity to explore the world, but they still need a mental health day now and then. So find the opportunity to unwind before you blow up.
The more you ignore stress, the harder it works to get your attention. Every emotion you have is a reaction from signals in your brain and body. They all mean something important, so give the good and the bad the same attention. If your feelings tell you it’s time for a break, take it!
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