Sunrise over the Chesapeake Bay

2022 is drawing to a close. Many of us are taking a much needed break from work and holiday prep – Duane and I included!

Many also mark this time of year with reflection. There are many benefits to slowing down and taking stock including improved problem solving and better mental health. 

And what better place to do a little self-reflection than the outdoors. It’s a double dose of goodness! The great outdoors offers not only improved mental health by lowing the risk of depression and increasing focus but also physical benefits by reducing cortisol levels, muscle tension, and heart rates. 

REI Co-op believed in this so much that several years ago the outdoor retailer closed on Black Friday inviting employees and members alike to spend it outside rather than shopping. This year they announced its Opt Outside movement would be permanent for all employees. 

Opting outside is something many of our readers do! One of our talented readers shared his connection with the outdoors in song with us. Listen for yourself.

“The Woods, The Water, And The Field” by G. Peter Block, Jr (copyrighted, used with permission)

No matter how you decide to enjoy nature be sure to get outside and reap the benefits before 2022 is history. 

-Jeannine Fleegle
Wildlife Biologist
PA Game Commission

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