Self care with Sarah: Getting some fresh air.

Being outdoors seems to have become an eradicated pastime due to the internet. Even when people do go outside, many still tend to get distracted quickly by their phones and are unable to take everything in. 


In the past, the Internet was used to escape reality when things become stressful. Now, the internet has become what no one can seem to break away from. Even when someone is not outside, the internet can serve to be a distraction.


“Sometimes in the business of life and social media, it can be difficult to take time to simply be with your thoughts,” said Olivia Raymond, junior biology (pre-med) and Spanish major at Wilkes University. 


With that, it can arguably take a lot more effort nowadays to disconnect and go outside since many aspects of human life are intertwined with the internet. However, the summertime can be used to take advantage of the outdoors, while the weather is permitting, and to be able to disconnect. 


There is a plethora of outdoor activities to engage in during the summer months, especially in the NEPA area. 


“Some things I like to do outside include, studying, hiking, horseback riding, snowboarding, bird watching, running, biking, and simply laying outside to enjoy the sunshine,” said Raymond. 


There’s several parks and recreational areas that provide you with all of these activities. Even just going outside in your backyard for some time throughout the day can get the job done if outdoor activities are not of interest to you. You can take the tasks you have to do or do inside activities outdoors.


Going outside can give your mind a break from the constant stimulation and ultimately provides you with the opportunity to actually enjoy and focus on the things you are engaging in. 


When asked about if there are any benefits to going outside, Brandon Smith, senior mechanical engineering major at Wilkes University saidRelaxation, planning my future, setting goals, fresh air, escape from reality, clear mental health and many more. Being outside allows me to be the guy I am today.”


Not only does nature tend to liberate people from the digital world, but going outside can also provide other personal benefits.


“I believe that being outdoors definitely boosts mental health. I know when I am having a bad day, being in nature lifts my spirits,” said Rickard. 


Smith and Raymond also mentioned that going outdoors reduced their stress as well. Relieving stress is also something people try to do during the summer as work and school can tend to slow down. Even if one’s workload is still demanding, going outside and relieving stress and taking a break is still necessary.


Consequently, nature, although it can be used as a digital detox, is still Instagram-worthy due to all of the scenic views and those specific locations that are necessary to stop and take a picture at. 


“The different scenery you get when hiking is absolutely surreal. One moment you can be at this big waterfall, and then the next you are walking through a lush green forest,” said Rickard. 


Taking photos of your experiences and breathtaking views can bridge the gap between nature and the internet. If you find it hard to disconnect completely, you can still engage by posting about your outdoor excursions while you are on them. 


“I find it so rewarding to reach the top of a mountain and enjoy the view at the top. The pictures aren’t too bad either,” said Raymond. 


It does not have to be summer in order for you to enjoy the outdoors and take beautiful pictures. There are plenty of outdoor activities that can be done during every season.


“On weekend nights after a long stressful work week and school, I really enjoy sitting out under the stars by a campfire. I will do this all year round no matter how cold or hot it is,” said Smith. 


With that, going outside can boost your mood, serve as a form of exercise and give you the opportunity to disconnect. This can ultimately make you feel happier and healthier.


I always encourage people to go outdoors. I believe that nature gives you something that many other things cannot fulfill, it gives you calmness and serenity,” said Rickard.