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Pennsylvania: The Perfect Place for a Mental Health Retreat

contributed by guest blogger Jeniffer Scott,

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Pennsylvania: The Perfect Place for a Mental Health Retreat

Most people know that self-care is essential to maintaining a positive mental state, but what some don’t know is just how beneficial interacting with nature can be. In fact, one study indicates that nature has certain restorative properties that can help reduce the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even attention deficit disorder. But that restoration is not necessarily just linked to coming into contact with forests and rivers. There’s strong evidence to suggest that just being away from home gives the mind a sense of escape from the everyday stress factors linked to various mental health issues.

The Beauty of Pennsylvania

If you live in or near Pennsylvania, you may already know the gold mine of beautiful places you can visit there. But if you only know it for the bustling big cities of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, it’s probably time you give Pennsylvania a second look. This lovely state is loaded with nature preserves and retreats—all places where you can spend time getting in touch with nature and leaving your worries behind.

Pennsylvania Waters

Nothing says “relaxing” like gliding along the river in a fishing boat or kayaking along Lake Erie on a beautiful day. In fact, this famous lake is surrounded by establishments that will rent you a jet ski, boat, paddleboard, or canoe. Or you can simply relax beside the water. For example, Presque Isle State Park is a great place for you to take in the beautiful scenery.

Getting Away From It All

Escaping the stresses of everyday life is easy in Pennsylvania. There are many places where you can retreat for a few days to clear your head and just relax. You can attend yoga and spa retreats or camping adventures. Or you can also simply rent a cabin or stay at a bed and breakfast for some much-needed R&R. Whether you decide to stay close to your temporary living quarters or pack a lunch and hike to the mountains, you are certain to enjoy your time here.

Getting in Some Exercise

Since exercise is another well-known antidote for various forms of anxiety and depression, visiting a retreat that requires even a moderate amount of movement can elevate your mood quickly. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, many mental health experts and physicians are now prescribing exercise as a treatment and preventative measure for many conditions, including depression and anxiety. Not only does consistent exercise increase self-esteem, it also encourages serotonin production, which elevates your mood naturally.

That’s why hiking or retreats that involve walking are great for your mental health. For example, think about visiting a place like historic Eckley’s Miners Village where you can stroll along and take in the sights. You might also enjoy taking a walking tour of Gettysburg and learning about the Civil War. Also consider observing a part of Pennsylvania’s community that is known for its simpler ways. You can tour Lancaster County’s Farm and Amish House for a glimpse at the simpler life and a little bit of history.

Spending some time away from home amid the elements of nature is one of the simplest and most effective ways to give yourself a mental health boost. Not only that, but according to Psych Central, studies also suggest that the “pre-vacation high” can be just as effective in boosting your mood. So, consider planning a yearly trip, or even a quarterly one if possible, to prevent the symptoms of anxiety and depression from taking a toll. Pennsylvania is one of the best places to relax and unwind because of its beautiful scenery and wonderful history. One trip to Pennsylvania and you may soon find that other traditional methods of stress release don’t even come close!