The Great Outdoors | Rebecca Danzig
Quarantine left us all feeling trapped. Enclosed. Nowhere to escape to, so many aspects of our social life ripped away from us. Movies, concerts, anything that involved just enjoying the company of other strangers, gone. I went from walking around Panera and Trader Joe’s during lunch with my friends at school, to laying in my bed mostly 24 hours a day every single day. My energy was draining, my mindset was faltering each time I opened my computer at 8:40 am, mentally preparing myself to stare at a bright screen for 6 hours. It takes a toll, going from moving everyday to barely any movement. What truly saved me was going outside.
Whether it was taking my dog for a walk around the neighborhood, hiking by myself, driving to watch the sunset by Moonlight Beach, or simply sitting in my backyard, being outside is a gift. It helps not only your skin (Vitamin D), it also gives you energy. I know, we’ve all become terribly lazy. I could barely get out of my bed when school started each morning when I was so used to waking up at 6:30 every day to drive to school. That’s why you have to take baby steps in order to slowly give yourself the energy you had within yourself pre-COVID. Simply getting out of bed and breathing in the fresh air outside helps. Anything that gives you a reminder of the outside world: from opening your windows and doors to looking outside and reminding yourself that all hope is not truly lost to COVID’s grasp.
Going outside for a small amount of time does wonders. You could even bring your laptop outside while you attend your online classes, the sun will naturally reenergize you without you having to crumble to your caffeine addiction (yes, the “harmless” cloud coffee trend in the beginning of quarantine turned into every teen developing a caffeine dependency). My mom would always yell at me for how pale I got, and how I need to go outside in the sun more. Of course, I ignored her, because I was so absolutely drained from being in bed all day. Once I started forcing myself to sit outside, and stay outside, I found myself waking up with more ease, and not feeling the need to go back to bed when classes were over. Turns out, when you stay in bed all day, you will always be tired because you are in a place that your brain associates with sleep. That’s why, no matter how exhausted you are, you need to go outside. Seeing how everything around you is awake and working, will make you feel just as rejuvenated. The bees are pollinating the flowers, the crows are cawing at one another, the wind is flowing through the trees and flowers, and the sun is beaming as the clouds trail by. The world is constantly alive, so why should you be the exception?
We take advantage of nature, and its raw beauty and power. Our lives may have changed tremendously, but nature never left us. Natural life is continuously changing and growing, that’s why we forget about it sometimes, even ignore it. When our own lives change so much, we can at least depend on the consistency of nature and its gifts.