Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience. – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The Current State of Mental Health in America
Patience. Patience is a person’s ability to wait something out or endure something tedious, without getting riled up. Couldn’t we all use a little more of this right now?
In a world where we have access to everything in the palms of our hands- “friends”, people, information, opinions, news – you’d think that’d make us happier. In contrast, we’re more depressed, anxious, and suicidal than ever before in history.
Major depression in youth has increased by 4.35% over the last 6 years. Now over two million youth have depression with severe impairment. 4.19% or over 10 million adults have serious thoughts of suicide in the U.S. (Reinert et al).
The COVID-19 pandemic has NOT helped the mental health of Americans.
In fact, according to a recent publication from Mental Health America, they found that the COVID-19 pandemic has had “disastrous effects on the mental health of the nation”, including a 93% uptick in the number of people looking for help with anxiety and depression, 8 in 10 people have moderate to severe symptoms of depression and anxiety, 37% of people have thoughts of suicide more than half or nearly every day in September 2020.¹
Are you feeling sad? Here are five ways to evaluate the mental health of your whole family.
YIKES!!!! This is not good. So what can we do to reverse this trend?
Do you know what has been proven to lower stress levels, reduce depression, decrease anxiety, improve cognition for children? Going outside! More specifically… going camping.
In fact, recent literature has shown that ..proximity to green space has been associated with lower levels of stress and reduced symptomology for depression and anxiety while interacting with nature can improve cognition for children with attention deficits and individuals with depression. (Pearson et al.)
And this is purely just being in close proximity to greener urban environments.
Imagine the possibilities of what shutting your phone off, disconnecting from WIFI and turning off the news would do for you and your mental well-being.
Just a few of the benefits camping provides:
This one needs no explanation. Can anyone argue that fresh air is good for your body?
Reset circadian rhythms
The blue light in phones, computers, tvs actually suppresses melatonin production and disrupts circadian rhythms.
Getting out into nature where the only light is the sun and the fire you build at night can reset your circadian rhythms and help you get a better night sleep.(Shechter et al, Tähkämö et al, Lee et al)
You get to cook your own food
No fast food here :). You’ve got two choices, prepare it ahead of time or cook it on the stove or over the fire.
More social interaction
Have you ever been at a restaurant and seen that family of five with their heads down staring at their screens? Not talking or looking at each other.
If you haven’t, then this is you :/. Camping will actually force you to bond and talk to one another. As much as it may freak you out, this is a good thing!
Typically the max you’ll pay at the following campgrounds is $30 per night, some as cheap as $10.
Our adventurous Tech Assistant, Meagan, is an avid camper.
Here are her Top 5 Favorite Local Texas or Round Rock Campgrounds:
- McKinney Falls https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/mckinney-falls
- Lake Georgetown https://www.recreation.gov/camping/gateways/516
- Pedernales Falls https://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/pedernales-falls
- Granger Lake https://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/recreational/lakes/granger/access.phtml
- Pace Bend https://parks.traviscountytx.gov/parks/pace-bend
As Henry David Thoreau once said, “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” I’m pretty sure he wasn’t referring to carpet or the ceiling.
Happy camping and when you get back make you sure you come by for a visit 🙂 Schedule an appointment with us here.