When’s the last time you went on an outdoor adventure? And, I mean spent significant time?
It’s probably been a while and with good reason.
Yet, the outdoors has a number of benefits that the indoors doesn’t.
Well, first you get to breathe the fresh air. Also, you can reconnect with nature, non-man made items, artifacts and particles beautifying your space and life.
I could go on and on, but I want to get to the best part of this post.
Merrell, a rugged outdoor footwear brand, has partnered with Mind, a mental health charity, to help people engage in outdoor adventures and explore the outside.
Are you down for the cause?
I hope so! Keep reading for more insight and ideas on going on outdoor adventures, and exploring your local area.
But first, here are the facts:
According to Mind’s research:
“More than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) have said their mental health got worse during lockdown.”
“Just over two thirds (68%) of young people said that their mental health had got worse during lockdown, with this rising to three quarters (74%) of people aged 18–24.”
“Young people are more likely to have experienced poor mental health during lockdown than adults.”
“People with experience of mental health problems are more likely to see their mental health worsen as a result of coronavirus restrictions.”
“Although they are less affected than those who have experienced mental health problems, more than one in five (22%) young people and adults who have not experienced mental health problems prior to the pandemic said that their mental health was poor or very poor during lockdown. Just over half of young people (57%) and adults (53%) without experience of mental health problems had a lower than average wellbeing score during lockdown.”
For the full statistics, go to Mind-Mental Health Emergency.
Here are the reasons people have been affected:
During the pandemic, we saw a number of actions taken by governments across the world.
At the basis of these actions, the fundamental part of life was also restricted. Human Interaction.
We are social creatures—a phrase we’ve heard dozens of times in our lives. But, I honestly didn’t know the depth of this phrase until this year. Did you?
Mind’s research concluded several things from its participants. Some of the main mental health challenges were:
“Not being able to see people (79%), not being able to go outside (74%) and anxiety about family and friends getting coronavirus (74%)”
Boredom. “Boredom was a major problem for young people; 83% said it had made their mental health worse.”
“Loneliness has also been a key contributor to poor mental health – particularly for young people. Just under three quarters of young people (72%) said loneliness had made their mental health worse.”
And, I agree with these results. Why? Because I’ve felt them too. You may have as well.
I shared my own struggles with you in the past month to show that it’s ok to not feel ok.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected you?
How going on outdoor adventures may help you cope:
Merrell and Mind have partnered up to run the initiative: Hike From Home.
Hike From Home “inspires everyone to explore new, local walks from their doorstep as a means to enjoy time outdoors during the pandemic as well as supporting mental health and wellbeing.”
So, the question is: do you like hiking?
Hiking could have a positive or negative connotation depending on the person.
So, those of you who don’t like going on outdoor adventures, science shows that spending time outside and exercising “can aid both physical and mental health.” In fact, “ecotherapy, a type of therapy which involves doing activities outside in nature, has been shown to help with mild and moderate depression.”
And, the outdoors is not just for those with mental health concerns. It’s for everyone.
Personally, being outdoors has improved my mood. It also helped me release anxiety during these uncertain times. I’ve been able to appreciate the things in life that I take for granted.
Hike From Home is especially a personal journey for those who want to reconnect with themselves on a deeper level and be present in the moment.
‘I’ve been reconnecting through walks with the family, for us, it’s been discovering new routes from our doorstep and spending quality time with the kids. When the treadmill of normal life stops, it has afforded us more time to explore new things, and we’ve found walking around our local area, finding new cool places a necessary break from the same four walls,” says MistaJam, who has been challenged with mental health concerns and ultimately supports of the Hike From Home initiative.
So what do you say? Are you down to hike?