When most of us think of mental-boosting activities, we imagine deliberate and strenuous exercise, like a jog, a bike, or a swim, but it seems that just visiting a variety of different locations is associated with a higher sense of wellbeing in people with depression or anxiety.
A study published last year by researchers at the University Psychiatric Clinics in Basel, Switzerland found the more varied locations people visit, the better they feel about their emotional and psychological wellbeing – even if their mental health symptoms are still present.
The study looked at 106 patients who were tracked via phone GPS and completed several surveys to track subjective wellbeing, psychological flexibility, and mental health symptoms. The researchers found higher levels of emotional wellbeing and psychological flexibility associated with more movement and a greater variety of movement.
Take home: Humans are creatures of habit, we tend to visit the same places to do the same activities day after day right down to patronizing the same gas station, working out in the same places, taking kids to the same park, and/or visiting the same coffee shop. While convenience is a huge factor, it is important to recognize that discovering new places, and changing up the environment is an essential part of our well-being. Try discovering a new park with your family, visiting a local farmer’s market for your weekly vegetable fix, or hike one of many state parks over the weekend.
Remember to consistently add variety to the places you go each week as a simple way to address a better sense of overall well-being.
Stay tuned for our next post for healthy ways to address and manage stress.
Need to change up your routine? Try these suggestions:
Visit the Braselton Library
Braselton Farmer’s Market (follow @braseltonfarmersmarket on Instagram for scheduling)
Hiking in Amicalola Falls
Try a new restaurant in Johns Creek (THE 10 BEST Restaurants in Johns Creek)
Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, GA
Chattahoochee Nature Center
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