Boost Your Mental Health: 10 Expert Tips for an Amazing Beach Vacation

Beach Vacation Mental Health

Few things are more relaxing than spending your summer at the beach. If you love sinking your toes into the sand and feeling the sun warm you up after a swim in the ocean, you’re probably aware of the mental health benefits that come with beach time.

Experts agree that there are smart ways to get even more mental health benefits from your seaside stay.

1. Experience Something New

While lounging with a beach read is enjoyable, try to incorporate a brand-new experience into your beach vacation. This could be as simple as trying paddleboarding for the first time, or something more adventurous like swimming in a bioluminescent bay, where microorganisms light up the water in a neon blue glow.

Seattle lawyer Julia Guarino shares her experience of swimming in a bioluminescent bay in Montego Bay, Jamaica: “It’s frightening, in a primal way, to lower yourself into dark, murky water. However, witnessing the enchanting blue glow emanating from your hands as you swim is an experience unlike any other.

Studies have shown that experiencing a sense of awe can benefit both mental and physical health. Psychologist Reena Patel adds, “Spending time in a new environment and engaging in enjoyable activities can uplift mood, stimulate creativity, and inspire fresh ideas. When on a beach vacation, this is the perfect time to try something new.”

2. Dig Your Toes Into the Sand

Walking on the beach with bare feet can have calming effects and help reduce anxiety. Mark Debus, a behavioral health clinician, recommends practicing grounding techniques during your beach walk by focusing on the feeling of the sand and waves on your feet and ankles.

“People often bring anxiety and tension from their home or work environments on vacation,” says Debus. “Practicing grounding strategies on a beach walk can help focus on mindfulness and even lead to a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure.”

Life coach Rosa Talavera-Kaufman recommends taking a grounding walk under a full moon for maximum benefits. “Moon cycles impact behavior, so being on the beach under a full moon can help spark intuition alongside meditation and grounding practices,” she explains.

3. Avoid the ‘Workation’ Temptation

Working while on vacation, also known as ‘workation,’ is becoming more common in the age of digital nomadism. However, maintaining work responsibilities during a beach trip can negate the potential physical and mental benefits. Debus advises travelers to “make an appointment with the beach!”

Aye Moah, a workplace mental health expert, recommends setting clear boundaries with your manager and team before leaving for your vacation.

“By telling your team that you’ll be fully offline, you avoid any chance for confusion,” she says. Additionally, Moah suggests completing any upcoming tasks before your trip and leaving a memo for colleagues to handle issues in your absence.

Once you arrive at your destination, it’s crucial to disconnect from work entirely. “Disconnect work email from your phones,” urges Moah. “Turn off notifications for Slack or Teams, or better yet, uninstall the apps entirely until you return. Focus on fully unplugging — you’ll come back less stressed and more creative.”

4. Savor the Sound of the Waves

The rhythmic sound of waves crashing on the shore can have a soothing effect on your mind. Listening to the ocean’s natural sounds can promote relaxation and reduce stress levels, making it a perfect backdrop for meditation or simply unwinding with a favorite book.

5. Bask in the Sunlight

Sun exposure is essential for producing vitamin D, which plays a role in mood regulation. Moderate sunbathing can help boost your mood and combat feelings of depression. Just remember to use sunscreen to protect your skin while enjoying the sunshine.

6. Engage in Physical Activity

Swimming, beach volleyball, and even walking along the shore are excellent ways to incorporate physical activity into your beach vacation. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters, and can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

7. Practice Mindful Breathing

The fresh sea air provides an excellent opportunity to practice mindful breathing exercises. Find a quiet spot on the beach, sit comfortably, and focus on your breath. Mindful breathing can help reduce stress and increase feelings of calm and relaxation.

8. Connect with Nature

Being in nature has numerous mental health benefits, including reducing stress and improving mood. Take time to observe the natural beauty around you, whether it’s watching a sunset, collecting seashells, or simply enjoying the view.

9. Take Breaks from Technology

To fully reap the benefits of your beach vacation, consider taking breaks from technology. Limit your screen time and focus on the present moment. Disconnecting from electronic devices can help reduce stress and allow you to engage more fully with your surroundings.

10. Create Lasting Memories

Finally, focus on creating lasting memories with family and friends. Shared experiences and quality time with loved ones can strengthen relationships and contribute to overall happiness. Take photos, share stories, and enjoy the moments together.


A beach vacation offers a wonderful opportunity to improve your mental health. By trying new experiences, practicing grounding techniques, savoring the natural environment, and fully disconnecting from work, you can maximize the mental health benefits of your seaside stay. So, next time you head to the beach, make sure to follow these expert tips for a truly relaxing and rejuvenating vacation.

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