Though national and local parks come to mind at the thought of outdoor exploration, RV campgrounds and parks are other great conduits for natural recreation. With as many as 14,000 in the United States alone, options for enjoying them are many.
Exploring mother nature has more immediate benefits too. Doing so has the ability to rebalance our industrialized lives with our humanity and human needs. Among children, building and fine motor skills are amplified alongside confidence. Memories with loved ones blossom through both outdoor exploration and repose. The physical activity made available by the natural environment gives our bodies a boost and the kinetic energy we crave. Nature also presents learning opportunities for both kids and adults of all ages as our senses continuously process new information and we discover new ways in which ecosystems interact and exist.
Americans suffer from a vacation deficit. More than 28 million United States employees are not given paid holidays or vacation time. Of the remaining U.S. adults who do, a staggering 55% don’t utilize all of their paid time off, staying wired for productivity. These statistics do not bode well against other higher-earning countries. The typical amount of paid leave for employees in the private sector is 10 days. Meanwhile, Finland triples this average, giving a numerical mean of 30 days. Finland’s also taken first place as the world’s happiest country for the past four consecutive years.
Not Taking Off Enough Time
Americans take insufficient amounts of time off for a plethora of reasons. However, there seems to be heavy consensus on six. 61% report negligence towards repose at the fear of being deemed replaceable in their positions. 56% blame insufficient assistance and perceived forgiveness for overbearing tasks and assigned roles. With a significant population of pet parents, 54% struggle to find pet care and accommodations, keeping them from traveling. 54% prefer to dodge the stress and burdens of crafting itineraries and charting modes of transportation. 54% report worries regarding safety and peace of mind. 53% are deterred from vacationing due to expenses and lack of disposable income. Lastly, among U.S. adults who do use their vacation days, fewer than 50% use them to leave home.
Enjoying the outdoors has innumerable benefits and we must orient our time towards reaping them. Just twenty minutes of fresh air, three days each week, has been proven to enhance brain function, minimize stress, augment well-being, and better memory.
If exploring the wilderness, and the thrills of doing so are not your speed, outdoor attractions can still provide the refreshment of fresh air without the uncertainties posed by wildlife and remote environments. By visiting a water or theme park, you can cherish open air while enjoying modern stimulation. When renting a boat, kayaking, canoeing, or whitewater rafting, you can enjoy open waters, green surroundings, and vast blue sky from afloat. By sightseeing, and participating in local tours, you can see new places by foot or by bike while enjoying nature’s elements. Lastly, simple family-friendly adventures, like hayrides, mini-golf, and orchids can provide outdoor fun in low-risk ways.
Take care of yourself, as much as you take care of work. Then, you can reconnect with the gifts that mother nature endlessly offers.