There are a lot of things I miss since coronavirus scared, scarred, and upended the world.
I miss the large number of people I used to freely associate with. I miss seeing the bottom half of people’s faces. I miss the wonderful customer service we used to receive from restaurants and other stores. I miss a normal workload.
I miss live events, especially sports, music, and movie theaters. I miss roaming about my city, country, and world in what was surely the heyday of global travel. I miss knowing that I could shake hands or high-five anyone I encountered. I miss the trust we used to have in immune systems, the ones that largely kept our species alive for hundreds of thousands of years.
But mostly, I miss being treated like a trustworthy human instead of a disease-carrying leper that should be avoided. That’s a gross feeling to confront on a near daily basis.
That said, I couldn’t have stomached and mostly thrived over the last three months had it not been for the following: Continue reading…
Credit: Blake Snow
This wasn’t the first time I’ve written about my favorite, lesser-known Utah outdoors. And it probably won’t be the last. Hope you enjoy.
Utah has some of the most beautiful national parks in the United States, if not North America as a whole. Because of this, numerous state parks and other protected lands are often forgotten; many would likely have national park status were they not located somewhere that already has five. Read on to learn about one of Utah’s best kept secrets. Continue reading on Lonely Planet…
See also: Which Utah park is right for you?
Photo: Blake Snow
I recently started reading The Nature Fix by Florence Williams.
In her introduction, Williams reports that most empirical evidence suggests there are four ingredients for happiness, namely feeling enmeshed in a community of healthy friendships (i.e. “it takes a village”), having your basic survival needs met, keeping your brain stimulated and engaged, and working for something that’s larger than yourself.
There’s increasing evidence, however, for a fifth ingredient, Williams argues: Regular outdoors, getting outside, or “forest bathing.”
I certainly won’t argue with any of those. Surrounding myself with healthy relationships, having my basic needs met, keeping my brain stimulated through learning and interesting work, volunteering, and staying outdoors has done the trick for me.
Easier said than done. But when you break it down like that, it also seems highly attainable.
Ryder Lake, Utah courtesy Blake Snow
Many of us spend the majority of our time indoors, breathing stale air, working under artificial light, and staring into glowing screens. While none of these things are toxic, at least in moderation, they can have a monotonous, if not negative, effect on both our performance and overall health, research shows.
What’s the antidote? More outdoors. Namely, spending more time walking in the woods, hiking in mountains, being near bodies of water, and simply just spending time in nature, under the sun, and breathing fresh air. Here’s the science behind the latest findings. Continue reading…
I work as a volunteer youth leader in my not-so-spare time. Last week, I offered to chaperone a campout for the following Friday, even though I hadn’t been camping in more than five years (note: I define camping as at least sleeping in a tent).
To be honest, I initially decided to go to merely show my support for the younglings. Up until then, I had largely written-off camping as a boring activity I’d like to avoid in favor of sleeping on a comfy Serta mattress in a controlled environment.
I have since changed my mind, however, taking a strong liking to the removal of technology and simple satisfaction found in pitching a tent, cooking a limited meal, and surrounding a fire with friends. My recent experience was so positive, in fact, that I convinced Lindsey to let me splurge on a complete camping set the following Saturday.
Suffice it to say I’ll be going more frequently now. I’m still camping retarded, but I’m anxious to become one with nature again… and then return to my comfy Serta.