Tensions are high on social media. People are at each other’s throats over insignificant things. Worst of all, people are too personally consumed by whatever the president is doing to lead normal lives. It’s frankly reached unhealthy levels.
My fellow Americans: I suggest you start deplugging more and get outside.
This month, the annual celebration of Great Outdoors Month, is the perfect opportunity to escape the indoors and find some much-needed balance outdoors.
Here’s what this year’s White House proclamation on the occasion reads:
Each year, millions of Americans step into our Nation’s vast and wondrous outdoors. There, they experience the miracles of creation: expansive forests, towering mountains, winding canyons, pristine waters, imposing glaciers, and soaring landscapes. These natural marvels offer limitless opportunity to experience nature and to consider the profound. During Great Outdoors Month, we celebrate the majesty of our planet and the freedom we have to witness its awe-inspiring grandeur.
In America, adventurers of all stripes have a place to experience, to explore, and to make lifelong memories. The National Parks System alone encompasses more than 400 different natural, cultural, and historic sites throughout the country. Thousands more State parks and trails ornament our country’s varied landscapes. Even our cityscapes are filled with parks, marinas, swimming pools, golf courses, tennis courts, and other recreational opportunities. No matter the location, citizens in every part of our Nation can find their own outdoor adventure and, in doing so, improve their health, deepen connections with their families and communities, and experience their country in new and exciting ways.
A proud tradition of protecting and maintaining our outdoor places is woven into our Nation’s heritage. Expanding access to these many locations is a priority of my Administration. We have opened hundreds of thousands of acres of previously unavailable or restricted public lands and added hundreds of miles to the national recreation trails system. I also recently signed into law the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, which designates new acreage as wilderness areas, increases access to public lands for hunting and fishing, and expands areas for recreational camping and boating. We will continue to leverage public- and private-sector resources to preserve our cultural history and natural habitat for future generations.
This month in particular, we recognize all those who help to conserve our natural environment, and we renew our commitment to act as responsible stewards of its many gifts. I encourage all Americans to get outdoors this summer to encounter, appreciate, and enjoy the natural splendor of our beautiful country.
Studies show spending more time outdoors leads to a better quality of life. Fewer health problems arise and can, in fact, be mitigated. Being outdoors has a proven de-stressing effect. Your vitamin D levels exponentially go up. A recent study found that being constantly surrounded by greenery can reduce “the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure.” Simply looking out at nature has a calming effect that leads to better job satisfaction and less stress.
Turn off your Mobile devices and computers more often—especially during the weekends. Plan a spontaneous trip to the mountains or the ocean. Check out the local hiking trail or battleground site. Go fishing and boating from now until June 9th to enjoy Free Fishing Days. Breathe in the fresh air and soak in every moment with your families and friends.
There’s more to life than politics or bickering about unimportant things on social media.
For more inspiration on how to enhance your physical and mental health through the outdoors, go here. Opt outside and have fun!