Stepping Away From Social Media and Going on Safari Boosts Mental Health
Heavy use of social media platforms places your mental health at risk.
Luckily, all you need is some time with nature to bring everything back in alignment
According to a study conducted by the Education Policy Institute and the Prince’s Trust, a greater percentage of people are developing mental health problems such as depression due to too much time on social media.
Suggested ways of alleviating the problem include physical activity and interaction with nature such as going on safari. So, let’s have a detailed look at mental health boosting safaris that you can add to your bucket list.
a) Visiting the Giraffes
Worth consideration on your itinerary is a visit to the Giraffe center. Unlike the giraffes you will find wandering the Mara savanna, these ones are more tame.
The centre was established as a haven for endangered giraffes and now boasts of having produced over 300 Rothschild giraffes.
Among these gentle giants are the shy mother and daughter duo, Stacey and lily, Daisy IV and the quirky adventurous Betty.
According to research, some of the mental issues suffered due to over dependency to social media includes feelings of hopelessness and depression among minors.
The good news is that at the centre, you can forget these negative feelings when you feed these tall friends from the palm of your hand.
This first-hand bonding experience does wonders for your mental health.
b) How about jigging it with the Masai?
Social media dependency has also been known to result in feelings of anxiety among chronic users.
According to Rosen L.D and others, in their publication titled ‘iDisorder: Understanding our obsession with technology and overcoming its hold on us’ persons who are overly attached to social media exhibit what is known as Phantom Vibration Syndrome (PVS).
PVS is when a person frequently checks their phone and social media notifications and even imagines the vibration of their phones even when there is none.
During a Kenyan safari, you are able to step out of this vicious loop and interact with one of the world’s last indigenous tribes.
The Masai lead a simple yet happy life in the Mara, away from what we consider modern conveniences.
Get lost listening to the tales told by these culturally rich people. These will include tales of how they coexist with lions, other dangerous predatory big cats and wildlife.
c) Some Aqua therapy
Social media is an addictive pastime.
This is more so, for the younger generation.
Yet despite the perceived social connectivity on social media networks, young people today are lonelier than ever before.
The good news is that the therapeutic effects of a safari can also be harnessed when visiting aquamarine habitats such as the Lake Nakuru National Park.
The park plays host to large populations of flamingo, hippos, and zebra.
It also carries lions and leopards, not to mention a huge selection of birdlife.
It is an excellent opportunity for you and your young ones to detach from unnecessary social media distractions and be at one with each other and with nature.
Did you know that over-dependence on virtual connectivity gives an illusion of socialization that more often than not, fails to live up to expectation?
When it comes to animal interaction, there are no such illusions.
Now more than ever, the youth are increasingly shy about personal or physical interaction and animals are the best antidote for that.
It is not uncommon to see a group of people who are supposedly meant to be interacting with each other busy staring at their phones screens instead.
A trip to the Lake Nakuru National park promises the family bonding experience that obviates all these issues.
d) Winding down at the beach
Yet another way for you to go blissfully off the grid is through a family visit to Kenya’s coast.
We all know that for children and young adults, too much virtual media heightens their likelihood of suffering from the ever-present danger of cyberbullying and harassment that pervades some social media platforms.
In the unfortunate event that you or your child have encountered these threats, it can trigger unbearable stress.
Spending time in a beautiful seaside locale such as the award-winning Diani beach can improve your mental health and that of your loved ones significantly.
It is an incredibly calming experience that serves to bring us back in tune with our environment.
On a Kenyan safari, we are at one with nature and all the trivial problems we encounter or imagine on the virtual platforms just seem to melt away.
Overall, the effect of animals on mental health includes improved mood, lower anger and stress levels and increased feelings of relaxation.
In short, the effect of nature on mental health can never be overstated.
Social media undoubtedly packs some advantages. However, like most aspects of life, especially where teens and young people are concerned, it needs to be a guided experience.
In the end, the aim of the society is to produce well- adjusted individuals who fit into the community and not social deviants that pose a threat to it.
Most importantly, it is every parent’s wish that their child should receive social acceptance wherever they may go.