Close your eyes and picture this:
The cool breeze of an ocean, the sand between your toes, and the sun on your skin. You can hear the soft crash of ocean waves and smell the tang of saltwater in the air. For a moment, everything is still and serene.
Now, as you open your eyes and realize that the beach is a bit far out of reach, start thinking about if it’s time to take another vacation.
There’s something wonderful about vacations. Sure, that feeling can be chalked up to the wonderful memories, beautiful views, and fun things to do, but there’s an internal feeling when it comes to vacations. It’s almost as if a few days of escape is a prescription for lasting happiness. And while beach getaways can’t be bottled up and saved for later, there are some real benefits to taking a vacation. Beyond the ocean views and picturesque landscapes, statistics show that vacations are far more rewarding than just an Instagram photo: they’re a respite for the mind and soul.
Stress is washed away
According to a survey from FloridaPanhandle.com, beaches are the most highly desired vacation spots in the nation. 48 percent of respondents preferred beach vacations over mountain, lake, or poolside destinations. As a result, it seems safe to say that sand, saltwater, and sun have more of an effect on people than just sunburn. 40% of people also identified beaches as the prime locales to find relaxation on your getaway.
According to The Wisconsin Medical Journal, studies concluded that women benefit greatly from taking frequent vacations, resulting in them feeling less tired, tense, or depressed. Taking a much-needed trip to the beach is a natural remedy when it comes to relieving mental ailments: beachcombing, swimming, and soaking up the sun—not to mention some time off from work and worries.
Because of the relaxing nature of going to the beach, a vacation is a kind of prolonged meditation. It’s a way to exhale and recenter yourself for a moment before heading back out into the “real world.” So walk along the shoreline and search for sea glass and seashells, or crack open that book you’ve been wanting to start, or just close your eyes for some well-earned relaxation.
Socialization thrives near the sea
Not only is a beach vacation great for some much-needed “me time,” but low-stress socialization is a wonderful perk to your getaway. 44% of people surveyed preferred to socialize at the beach more than other vacation sites. And after a socially isolating year due to the pandemic, some good ol’ conversations just might be what we all need.
Away from work-centered small-talk and smartphones, socializing at the beach is a chance to escape mundane, everyday conversations. Whether it’s striking up a conversation with your vacation house neighbors, other beachcombers on the beach, or having some laid-back conversations with your family, a beachside vacation is a chance to take a break from work and social media, and just get social.
Taking a vacation is about more than the pretty landscapes and great social media posts. A few days of rest, relaxation, and letting go are extremely favorable to your mental health. After all, The American Psychological Association’s Work and Well-Being Survey found that 68 percent of Americans were in better moods after their vacations. Not only will you feel the benefits of a vacation at the beach, but you’ll continue to experience them long after you return home.
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This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine September/October 2021 issue.
Read more at floridapanhandle.com/blog/beach-vs-mountains. All images courtesy of FloridaPanhandle.com.