WINTER HOLIDAYS: A BOOST FOR MENTAL WELL-BEING
Winter Holidays: A Boost for Mental Well-being
As winter arrives and courses are closed, SGH explores other options beyond UK golf courses. With skiing (and Après skiing) being a favourite alternative in the SGH office, join us as we discuss the mental health benefits of skiing and discover our favourite destinations.
Winter Holidays: A Boost for Mental Well-being
As the 23/24 winter alpine season has arrived, resorts throughout Europe have experienced promising snowfall which many have taken advantage of. Out of offices on, Instagram reels rolling and envy-inducing images of skiers and snowboarders making a break for the Alps for a festive alpine adventure. Whilst 2022’s festive period brought scarce snowfall, our most recent holiday period presented an opportunity for many to make their way to Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland.
Mental Benefits: Sunlight Exposure, Stress Reduction, Break from Routine
Ski breaks offer a plethora of benefits for both the body and the mind, and have been the chosen choice for many across Europe following the first world war. Railway lines which were built in war time were now transportation routes for many, which provided a gateway to many towns and villages across the alps which are now known and loved as some of Europe’s most popular resorts today. The longevity is largely down to the fact that physical exertion, fresh mountain air and breath-taking scenery are humankind’s best friend - something which has become harder to come by in Europe’s roving, thriving metropolitan landscape which consumes many to this day.
In the UK, where Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects 1 in 15 people, skiing holidays in sunlit mountain regions can help mitigate symptoms and improve mood. Winter holidays in sunny destinations offer a dual benefit by increasing exposure to natural sunlight, a source of mood-regulating vitamin D.
Whether speeding down a mountain, basking in winter sun at a mountain bar, or unwinding in a European spa, these activities contribute to overall mental well-being, providing a break from daily routines and work-related stressors.
Skiing: A Dynamic Exercise for Body and Mind
The dynamic, thrill seeking nature that winter sports provides engages many muscle groups and offers a fantastic cardiovascular workout for many - producing endorphins which promote a healthier mental state. For many, the focus and concentration required during alpine activity serve as a form of meditation which provides clarity and stress reduction.
Other Benefits: Connection with Nature, Novel Experiences, Quality Time with Loved Ones
Novel experiences during skiing holidays, regardless of age, stimulate the brain and trigger the release of dopamine, associated with pleasure and reward. Learning and mastering new skiing techniques or navigating different slopes provides a sense of accomplishment and boosts self-esteem.
Spending quality time with family and friends during winter holidays strengthens social connections, providing support and a sense of belonging. Skiing offers numerous opportunities for positive social interactions, creating enduring memories of shared joy and connection.
Best European skiing destinations for winter alpine getaways
But where are the best places to go this winter...
Located in Les 4 Vallées, Verbier is the crown jewel of Swiss powdered terrain and après-ski action. This gem is favoured by many globally who flock to Europe each year to ski, offering 410 kilometres of linked pistes which can be accessed by 93 lifts. Beyond the slopes, there is jubilant après aplenty - with venues such as Fairnet and Farm Club proving popular haunts amongst royalty and celebrity guests.
Nestled on the border with Switzerland, the Chamonix-Mont Blanc region is well known for being the home of the inaugural Winter Olympics in 1924. Chamonix offers five ski areas, each providing a wonderful skiing experience, making it a go-to for skiing enthusiasts of all levels. Backdropped by the spectacular Mont Blanc massif, alpine adventurists of all abilities can get their teeth into anything from the legendary Vallee Blanche to beginner friendly slopes. Chamonix has something for everybody.
For high-altitude seekers and sporty groups, Tignes with its Grand Motte glacier offers consistent snow all season long. Boasting a mix of wide blue pistes and challenging black slopes, Tignes promises thrills for skiers of varying abilities, making it an ideal destination for a dynamic skiing getaway. direct links to Val d’Isère, while it’s easy to ski over to Val d’Isère and party at La Folie Douce in La Daille, for ultimate convenience, end the day at the Loop Bar in Tignes Le Lac and catch live bands at the foot of the Trolles piste.
As the European alpine season is underway, an unforgettable year in the iconic Alps beckons. Embrace the winter bliss and embark on a skiing adventure of a lifetime in the heart of the Alps. Share with us your favourite skiing destinations.
Interested in a ski holiday in 2025? Get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org