If you’re feeling lost, unfulfilled, or without purpose, it may be because your spiritual health is lacking. In today’s society, a lot of attention is paid to physical and mental health—and for good reason; those are very important aspects of a healthy lifestyle. However, they’re only part of the overall wellness equation. There seem to be fewer blueprints of how to improve spiritual health available, possibly because spiritual health is intangible. If you’re keeping on top of your physical and mental health and still feel like something is missing, consider these suggestions for spiritual wellness activities that you can practice anywhere—even on a getaway.
Peak spiritual health looks different for everyone. For some people, it may mean a deep connection with a higher power; for others, it’s a feeling of peace and purpose. Spiritual health is not necessarily linked to religion (though it may be for some people). For many people, it’s a feeling of gratitude and awareness in their daily lives. One of the most important things to remember about spiritual wellness is that it’s about living life according to your core values and faith but not imposing your beliefs on others.
Spiritual health helps us feel connected with ourselves, with others, and with a greater purpose or higher power (whatever that may look like to you). Taking care of your spiritual health can help you feel more fulfilled, grateful, and at peace. It can also make your life feel more meaningful while reducing stress and anxiety.
Below we’ve listed a few ways to boost spiritual health while on a getaway. Not every method will work for every person, and you may find it helpful to incorporate a few of these activities into your daily routine. Most of these methods are most effective when fostered through regular practice.
Before you start your journey toward improved spiritual health, it’s a good idea to check in with yourself. Ask yourself why you may be feeling unfulfilled, reflect on your values and your beliefs, and ponder the things that bring you joy and a sense of fulfillment. It’s important to self-reflect, sit with your thoughts, and look inward throughout your wellness journey as well. If you need help getting started, consider a book like this one to help diagnose your spiritual health.
Taking care of your physical health can vastly improve your spiritual wellness, just like how taking care of your spiritual health helps promote physical wellness. Make sure you stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and move your body when you can.
Similarly, taking care of your mental health is crucial for your overall wellness. Keep tabs on your mental health, find healthy coping mechanisms, and set boundaries if need be. If you feel like your mental health may be suffering, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’ll be amazed at how your spiritual health improves when your mind, body, and spirit are all in balance.
Yoga is a physical practice that’s an excellent way to improve your spiritual, mental, and physical health. Not only will it increase your strength and flexibility, but it will also help you practice mindfulness and increase your awareness of your body and your surroundings. Many people use their yoga practice as a form of moving meditation. Yoga will also teach you to be patient and kind to yourself. Remember, it’s about the journey, not just the results. Yoga is a fantastic way to improve your spiritual wellness while traveling since it requires no equipment and can be practiced anywhere.
Religion is not a necessary component of spiritual wellness, but if you are religious or spiritual, connecting with that faith is a surefire way of improving your spiritual health. That may mean prayer, meditation, or connecting and communicating with others who share your faith. If you feel like your spiritual health is suffering, consider speaking with a trusted guide in your community, such as a pastor, rabbi, imam, spiritual leader, or mentor. Even if you’re on the go, you can connect online with someone who may offer some guidance.
Practicing mindfulness means focusing your awareness on yourself and your surroundings in the present moment. If you’re new to practicing mindfulness, start by doing some deep breathing exercises and focusing on your breath. Then focus on your body and how it feels. It may help to begin by paying attention to your five senses, one at a time, or focus your attention on your feet and work your way up your body.
Once you’ve got a handle on focusing your mindfulness inward, you can turn it outward and act mindfully throughout your day. Remember to stay in the present and be aware and intentional with your actions. Be cognizant of how your actions affect the people and environment around you.
While practicing mindfulness, either inwardly or outwardly, try not to interpret or judge what you’re experiencing—just experience it. With regular practice, mindfulness can help to reduce stress and anxiety and lead to improved spiritual awareness and health.
Spending time in nature is an excellent way to practice mindfulness, but it has countless other benefits as well. Studies have shown that spending time in the natural world can improve your mood and emotional wellbeing. Taking a walk in the woods or a park, spending time near a body of water, or watching the sun rise or set are all excellent ways to get in touch with your spiritual needs and improve your spiritual wellness.
Meditation doesn’t require a remote mountaintop location and burning incense (but if that’s available to you and it helps, go for it!) There are many different ways to meditate, but you can start by sitting quietly and mindfully for five minutes. (If you’re worried about distractions in a hostel or crowded location, consider wearing a pair of noise-canceling headphones.) You can focus on your breathing and repeat a mantra if it helps you to feel relaxed and present. Don’t get upset if your mind wanders—just bring it back to your practice.
Some people choose to practice visualization while they meditate. If you want to try it, start by picking a safe, natural setting like a cave, forest, or meadow. Try to engage all of your senses and notice what it would feel, smell, and sound like to be in that location.
Keeping a journal can allow you time to reflect, check in on yourself, and express gratitude. Consider carrying a travel journal with you so that you can record your thoughts and feelings throughout the day, or keep a gratitude journal and make jotting down a list of things you’re grateful for part of your daily routine. Writing down your thoughts and feelings is an excellent way to begin to process them.
Feeling a sense of purpose is a key component of spiritual wellness. If you’re feeling lost or searching for meaning, consider volunteering or helping others. It’s a great way to focus your energy on the things that matter to you and an excellent way to connect with your community.
Human connection is essential for our spiritual, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Forging deep connections with others helps to foster love, self-esteem, and empathy. It will give you the opportunity to find support in others and support them in return. Forming connections with people who come from different backgrounds and belief systems will help you to broaden your mind and practice understanding and acceptance. Don’t be afraid to get out and make new friends on your next getaway!
Whether it be travel, taking a class, joining a club or organization, or exploring a new hobby, getting out at experiencing new things is a great way to revive a latent passion or find a new purpose in your life. It will expand your worldview and help you tap into your purpose or discover what brings you joy.
You can call it self-care, or you can call it focusing on your hobbies, but taking time for yourself can be necessary for your overall wellbeing, including your spiritual health. Spending time doing the things you love can help reignite the meaning in your life or help you stay present and work on your mindfulness. Make art, read a book, practice a sport, or just relax—just make sure to do what makes you feel happy and fulfilled.
Recognize that the path to spiritual health is a journey. Be patient and allow yourself to make mistakes. For example, if you find yourself ruminating on the past when your goal is mindfulness, bring your mind back to the present, but don’t be hard on yourself for not achieving perfection—that’s a losing battle. Remember to give yourself the same grace you’d give other people.
Spiritual wellness may look different for everyone, but it’s important for anyone seeking fulfillment, purpose, and a deeper connection with the meaning in their life. This list will help you practice activities that will improve your spiritual health, even if you’re on the road or far from home. The journey to spiritual wellness is ongoing and endless, so be consistent and be kind to yourself along the way.