Dr. John Woods 11.24.20
The Great Outdoors is perhaps the best cure for much of what ails us, especially within the realm of psychological well-being. Ironically, this COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this whole situation. Some people who have been isolated and quarantined during the past several months have been overly stressed to the point of becoming non-functional. The cure or treatment may perhaps be to simply get outside to enjoy the many wonderful aspects of the outdoors.
In fact such a therapy treatment has been confirmed by research conducted at Cornell University, which suggests enjoying the outdoors is a good way to reduce stress. What better way to release stress than to take a short hike along a park walkway or a trail laid out through a woodland venue in your area? Nearly everyone has access to some kind of outdoor experience close to home.
Hunters know the benefits of getting outside to pursue a wide variety of wild game including deer hunting, wild turkey, waterfowl, upland/small game such as rabbit or squirrel hunting or bird hunting including quail, pheasant, grouse, and other timber species. The calming time spent in a deer stand or blind, or a still hunting walk along a woodland trail or through the woods is therapeutic. Learn to stop to “smell the roses” as it were.
The list of enjoyable outdoors ideas is virtually endless. Just think of the many things you could do outside from simple exposures like sitting in the backyard in a lawn chair soaking up the sunshine, listening to the birds or other outland sounds. This can be a soothing time spent right at home or perhaps in a city park or other outdoor location. These activities do not have to be time-intensive or gear-laden. Make it simple and enjoy yourself outside.
Longer outdoor activities are just waiting. Think about a short weekend camping trip to a state park. This could include tent camping or renting a cabin in a lakeside setting. Try an afternoon of hiking or fishing. There is often outside gaming available such disk golf, horseshoes, basketball, or swimming. Just getting out is rewarding and healing for many folks. Check out your local and state resources for such a weekend trip.
Fishing has its own set of calming experiences. Casting from the bank of a lake, canoeing a flowing stream, or fishing from a boat are all good sources of nature therapy. Besides the chance to catch some excellent table fare, being out in the fresh air and warming sunshine are great ways to relax.
God created the great outdoors for us to enjoy. What better way to reduce life stresses than to enjoy time outdoors. Plan a trip now for yourself and family for an afternoon, a day, or a week’s vacation. You’ll feel better for it.