For a lot of people, the pandemic has turned life upside down. It’s decimated savings, derailed dreams, and thrown the future into dark uncertainty. I’ve been fortunate to have remained relatively unscathed especially compared with those who have fallen sick, lost jobs, or faced other challenges. Fifty-three percent of adults report that pervasive concerns about the virus have negatively impacted their mental health, according to a poll conducted in July by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Especially now, we need outdoor spaces free from the distractions of modern technology and the negativity of our never-ending social media feeds. There are numerous mental health benefits to be found in spending time outdoors, be it a neighborhood walk or bike ride. But there’s something special about the deep woods, the wide-open desert, mountain landscape, even the forested corners of an urban park. Those places help to remove us from the anxieties and stresses of everyday life.
On Black Friday, we’re going outside. Because we need to! Because that’s where we feel good, and awesome, and human again! Join us!
Ways to Spend More Time Outside
Here is a list of ways to spend more time outdoors. Some big! Some small! Some you can do right outside your door wherever you are. I hope this list serves as inspiration and motivation, or at least a little nudge in the right direction (hopefully, that’s outside).
Watch the sunrise
Explore a local park
Walk a mile
Check out a new neighborhood
Camp someplace new
Camp someplace old
Dance in the rain
Find the end of a rainbow
Walk in the snow
Park your car and walk and then walk some more
Just walk out of your door
Walk around a lake
Read a book under a tree
Climb the biggest hill you can see
Reflect on your time outside through journaling
Spend a day in the woods
Have a picnic
Climb a mountain
Feel sand in your toes
Splash in a stream
Kayak or canoe in a lake or creek
Walk in a meadow
Feel the wind on your face
Walk a dry creek bed
Stroll around a park
Stop and smell the roses (literally)
Go camping in a tent
Look for a four-leaf clover
Sit on a pier
Visit a regional or county park
Enjoy a new path
Optoutside and cast a line
Float a river
Stand on a summit (any size will do)
Listen to the ocean
Pick up trash while on the trail
Watch the sunset
Watch the moon rise
Count the stars in the night sky
The #OptOutside movement was started by the outdoor retail company REI in 2015. The basic meaning of #OptOutside is: Go outdoors on Black Friday instead of shopping.
Everything is easier said than done. So don’t just read or say it; do it!
In every walk with nature, one receives more than he seeks.