Opt Outside

Yesterday, I was doing my weekly trip to the grocery story…physically distancing and being careful…when I overheard a woman talking to the cashier as she was checking out ‘I have not been out of my house for two weeks now.’  I thought…two weeks???  I knew right then I wanted to write about getting outside.

When REI introduced #OptOutside five years ago, I am sure they, like all of us, did not see COVID-19 in our future.  And yet, that phrase applies even more now…if done carefully.  As we shelter-in-place, isolate, self-quarantine, inertia can take over and we never leave the place where we reside…and that’s not necessarily good for our mental health!  Being physically distant is a necessity…absolutely…and we want to make sure we are following all shelter-in-place rules.  But for now, all the shelter-in-place orders and rules that have been issued still allow us to go outside…if done safely and with physical distance.  We can:

  • take walks in our neighborhoods
  • go for a run on a trail,
  • bike along the streets,
  • sit in a chair in front of where you live and watch the cars go by
  • lie down in the grass and just enjoy the sun (it will be back!)

What are your favorite ways of being outside?  Although there may be some you just cannot do right now, there likely are many that you can.  So, pick one way to be outside and give yourself permission to do that safely each day.  Being outside (safely) is one way we can support our psychological well-being.