Great Outdoors

June is Great Outdoors Month!

Great Outdoors Month is a month-long celebration encouraging everyone to head outside and take advantage of our natural outdoor surroundings.

After a cold and sometimes dreary winter, what better time than now to enjoy the many pleasures of the great outdoors this spring?

It’s not just a myth – being in nature really is good for you  – beneficial for both your body and mind. How many times have you gone on a walk outside to unwind and found that just being in nature for a few minutes calmed you down and made those huge problems seem a little more manageable or easier to solve?

The term forest bathing is one we have heard a lot about as of late. Simply being in nature and connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch is beneficial for so many reasons. Taking a break outside strengthens your concentration by resting your brain, improves your mental health by lifting your mood, and actually enhances your immune system by increasing white blood cells.  

An article from Select Health – 10 Reasons Why Being in Nature is Good for You – explains a few of the benefits to being outside in nature. Even a simple office plant or pictures of nature can decrease anxiety and lesson negative feelings. But rather than just looking at those beautiful seascapes, get out there to enjoy and reap all the benefits of being outside!

Still another reason for going outside is you’re also likely to connect with the people and places in your community. The pandemic has reminded us that human contact and a sense of community are important to your mental health. On the contrary, studies have proven that spending too many hours indoors looking at screens leads to a whole host of negative effects on the mind and body. These include physical strain to your eyes, neck and back, sleep issues, and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity and low HDL (good)  cholesterol.

When you have been busy at work all week, it can be hard to slow down. It also can be difficult to slip away from work projects. Be sure to make time for yourself in nature when you can and take breaks from your day to observe your beautiful outdoor surroundings. 

Check out some suggestions on how to celebrate Great Outdoors Month from the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Schedule time to immerse yourself in nature this month – your mind and body will thank you for it!
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