Mental health has long been shrouded in stigma and misunderstanding. Thankfully, after a long struggle, it is now a topic that people are starting to speak more openly about, meaning that people can finally start to deal properly with the illnesses that affect one in five American adults in any given year. Like any kind of health condition, mental illness has an impact on our ability to do our favourite things, and that includes travel. You sometimes hear travel being spoken about as some kind of cure-all for anyone dealing with things like anxiety or depression – all they need is to ‘take a break from it all’, and after a holiday they will be just fine again. But it is that kind of casual, almost dismissive attitude to mental health that all of us should be moving past. No doubt travel can be good for mental well-being – if done right. You also have to take into consideration that travel can, at times, be stressful, it takes you out of your normal routines and away from your support network.
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It comes around at the same time every year but, just like an elaborate magic trick, somehow it seems to creep up on us out of nowhere. Christmas. And if you’re wanting a winter getaway, you need to start thinking about the best places to go for Christmas and New Year now. As the jingle bells and tinsel begins to festoon the shops, it’s your prompt to plan your escape – perhaps a mini festive break or two weeks of winter sunshine. Get your festive trip plans off to a flying start with this guide to luxury places to visit over Christmas and New Year. This guide will provide plenty of holiday inspiration. So whether you like to embrace the season or escape it – we believe in a balance of both – here are 30 breaks in which you can join in the festivities, or indulge in your very own pure ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ holiday escapism.