Winter can be a little gloomy and mental health is understandably at the forefront of many conversations at this time of year. An encouraging thought is that taking care of yourself physically is a recommended way of staying in good mental shape as well. Whether it’s a brisk walk for some fresh air or a snow-shoe trek to get those endorphins flowing, there are a number of positive things to be gained by getting exercise. Perhaps one of the simplest and most valuable benefits is that we’re doing something that makes us happy! We asked some of our team members what gives them that special ‘mood booster’ when they head outdoors, and here’s what they had to say…

“For me it’s all about getting out for a hike on those clear cold days to somewhere remote/beautiful. Whether it’s with the family or just with the dogs, it’s like hitting a reset button for me. No phone, no emails, no crowds…”

“Each activity offers something different to be happy about! Going for a hike and stopping for a moment to hear nothing but the forest. Going skiing and looking across the top of the mountains and up at a clear open sky and remembering just how big the world is. Feeling victoriously sore the day after doing something, knowing that you pushed yourself to work harder and ‘you did it’.”

“My brain lets go of the hectic pace of life and I have a singular focus on the effort I’m engaged in.”

“Going into the outdoors always makes me smile, because I can hear the birds, see beautiful flowers, hear the snow crunch under my feet, count stars, feel sunbeams warm up my skin. I feel free and enjoy all the small things that Mother Nature gives me for the day.”

“My winter activity of choice is skiing or snowboarding. Whether it’s from the warmth of my own bed or the cold of winter camping in a sleeping bag, it is always hard to wake up early on a day off. Each and every time I do it though I spend my day happy and content. Breathing the mountain air and enjoying the snow-capped views. The drive home is always one of tired contentment, looking forward to my next trip back to the snow.”

We often refer to ‘The 10 Essentials’ to pack when you’re preparing to head outdoors, but it’s worth remembering that you’re providing yourself with essentials by getting out there too. So, if the weather is getting you down, bundle up and get moving… you’ll be happy you did!

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