12.09.2018 Wellbeing

Happy Campers

Camping shown to boost sense of wellbeing

As we mark R U OK? Day tomorrow, research is showing one way to improve metal health is to go camping.

Reasons given for the boost to a sense of wellbeing include reduced stress, the chance to reconnect with family, getting away from 24/7 online connectedness and enjoyment of nature.

The Real Richness Report from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia found campers are competitively happier, more satisfied, optimistic and energised than non-campers.

Not only do trips make campers happier, they also give people an opportunity to connect with themselves and their feelings, with 53% of women and 44% of men strongly agreeing that camping trips enabled them to gather their thoughts.

Respondents’ answers also revealed 96% of campers believe that camping can make you happier and 95% of campers believe that camping reduces stress.

Alistair Mitchell was introduced to caravan and camping from an early age, and mental health is a topic close to his heart.

After previously working as a park manager and in corporate management, he is now a mental health advocate and health and wellness coach. Alistair found his way to this career by a tough path including drug addiction and facing his own mental health battle. He is now passionate about helping others to overcome similar circumstances.

“Being outdoors and camping allows you to remove yourself from the stresses of your career… camping allows us to break away from the chaos of life and enjoy the simplicity of nature,” he said.

“Spending time away from daily life and everyday pressures, and being able to reconnect as a family on the road is fantastic. Physically being outside connects us more, and relaxes us.

"People forget, the most basic things are the most important sometimes.

“Although many campsites offer wifi, it is important to allow yourself time away from technology and connectedness… the decrease in constant simulation of technology will encourage a greater psychological and emotional health.

“With anything to do with mental health, open dialogue and communication is key to wellbeing, and in the past mental health hasn’t really been an open discussion.“

September 13 will mark R U OK? Day, the national day of action dedicated to reminding Australians to ask one another whether they are ok and support those who are struggling.