Let’s face it, the “Covid-19 lockdown” can be challenging to our mental health. We believe that by staying home, we are saving lives, and yet this isn’t always easy as the weeks carry on. Some days are probably better than others, but there are undeniable moments of stress, loneliness, anxiety, frustration and maybe even depression.
In this time of uncertainty, there is one *positive* thing that we can do to safely combat against anxiety and depression, and that’s…(drumroll!)….getting outside to exercise! We should all be getting outside, at least once per day, especially on local trails close to your home while safely social distancing. Here in New Hampshire, Governor Chris Sununu declares that residents are still permitted - and encouraged - to go outside to get some good ol’ fashioned exercise – while paying special attention to social distancing protocols of at least 6 feet of separation.
If you are physically able, running or jogging for at least 30 minutes is even more beneficial than walking. Running is scientifically proven to increase your mental concentration, boost your mood, alleviate signs of depression, help boost your immune system and cardiovascular health, improve your sleep quality, and extend longevity. That sounds like great mental and physical medicine to us! So, why not make an intentional, positive change and commit to going outside for 30 minutes every day, or at least 5 times per week? It could be a real game changer.
While you’re outside reaping the numerous health benefits to be had with simple (and free!) exercise, we want to also encourage you to stay safe by adhering to all your state’s health guidelines and protocols, which vary from state to state. For those of us in New Hampshire, here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts for staying safe while you go outside:
DO: Work in your garden! Hauling the wheelbarrow, raking, weeding, planting, and just being in the dirt and soaking up the fresh air and sunshine are some of the best ways to reap the benefits of being outside. It's pure therapy for the soul.
DO: play with your kids in the yard, or take up backyard bird watching, mushroom-hunting, or wild foraging
DO: Visit less-trafficked trails and parks, especially lesser-known trails that are close to home. And discover new trails! You can even use Trail Finder to help you, or ask family members, friends or neighbors for recommendations.
DO: Take a bike ride, go for a run, walk your dog around the neighborhood - by yourself, or with others from your household. Listen to the sounds of nature and make mental notes of the kinds of birds, flowers, animals and trees you see.
DO: Join an online fitness/workout program and if it’s nice weather, do it outside on your deck! (Hey, you may inspire your neighbors, you never know!)
DON’T: Keep meeting with your running group or walking group, try to minimize your contact with other people outside your household as much as possible.
DON’T: Go to state beaches in New Hampshire, they are closed.
DON’T: Go to popular parks, the Appalachian trail, Tuckerman’s, or other popular hiking destinations. Try to stick to local trails and avoid crowds and groups of other hikers as much as possible. Some State Parks remain open, however they are mostly unstaffed so if you do go to a state park, obey all restrictions and know that bathroom facilities are mostly closed. Maintain social distancing of 6 feet of separation if you do happen to come across other hikers.
DON’T: travel to out-of-state destinations or out of the country. Community transmission is real.
DON’T: Try to complete your mountain bucket list, hike Tuckerman’s for the first time, or take up rock climbing. If you get hurt, you could put rescue personnel at risk (and besides, the hospitals are taxed enough!)
DO: Stay bug-free naturally by applying YAYA’s all-natural bug repellent to keep you and your family protected from the ticks, mosquitos and biting flies!
We hope you and your loved ones will continue to safely get outside during this challenging time. We’re in this together. Stay safe, healthy and happy!
~ The YAYA Organics Team