SOUL FUEL COLUMNIST: Book a holiday that heals you this month encourages Kim Forrester.
There is no doubt that living in Singapore brings with it an amazing range of benefits. Not least of these is the fact that – with direct flights to nearly 130 destinations – living here offers amazing opportunities to travel. But, as any seasoned expat knows, life on the Little Red Dot can also be emotionally and psychologically stressful; the busy-ness, noise, crowds and isolation from all that is most familiar can be tough on our wellbeing in subtle, and not so subtle, ways.
In order to truly thrive in Singapore, it is imperative that you acknowledge and nurture your mind, body and soul. And travel can be the perfect opportunity to do so! So, while making the effort to travel the region, I encourage you to integrate holistic health into your plans. This is especially important if you are struggling with stress, depression, claustrophobia, chronic loneliness or other challenging effects of expat life.
There are three ways, in particular, you can incorporate greater wellbeing into your desire to travel. These are:
CONNECTING BACK TO NATURE: It’s hard to overstate the incredible effect that nature has on our emotional health and overall wellbeing. Scientists have discovered that being in natural spaces improves a multitude of physical and cognitive processes, including lowering stress hormones, increasing brain function and slowing our heart rate. We are natural beings and, quite simply, getting back into nature heals us. Bear this in mind when booking your travel destinations. Look regularly for destinations that offer the vital elements Singapore lacks: natural spaces, big skies and open horizons.
GOING WHERE THERE’S NOTHING TO DO: Our modern world is based on the concept of constant doing. We are often so used to being busy, that we are unaware of the impact this is having on our wellbeing. Many of us find it hard to slow down, but the truth is there is a desperate need for us to do “nothing” on occasion. Instead of looking for travel destinations where you are always on the go, try travelling to locations that offer (or even force) you to slow the heck down! If you have trouble slowing down, nudge yourself gently into the slower pace of life. Give yourself something to do that is not stressful – like completing a book, learning to surf, or taking a cycling tour.
TRAVELLING WITH UPLIFTING COMPANIONS: As important as a travel destination can be, it’s equally as vital to be discerning about who you travel with. Science has shown that happiness is contagious; hanging around happy people will actually increase your sense of joy and wellbeing. In addition, laughter has been proven to lower stress, boost the immune system and increase a sense of wellbeing. Laughter really is medicine. In contrast, being surrounded by people who are pessimistic, unhappy or nasty has a measurable, detrimental effect on your mental and physical health. For a truly healing holiday, choose your companions wisely. Travel with friends and family who leave you feeling uplifted, inspired and good about life.
Kim Forrester is a holistic wellbeing author, consultant and educator. www.kimforrester.net