Thu. Feb 29th, 2024
This is your brain in the wild!

Nature? We’re here for it and so are our friends at Coleman Canada. Read on to find out how they’re helping us encourage Ontarians to spend more time outdoors!

It’s easy to feel a little down this time of year. It seems to get dark outside immediately after lunch, the sun is setting and our bodies are still adjusting to colder temperatures.

There is a part of our brain that really wants to hibernate.

But we’re going to fight that urge, and you should too! Here’s why: our brains need nature!

We need nature

Spending time outdoors is good for your body and your mind!

We all know this on some level. That’s why some of our happiest memories are based on time spent outdoors.

Hiker sitting on a rock next to the snowy coast

Nature makes us feel great. We sleep better. We feel more relaxed and less stressed or anxious if we have been in nature.

Fight against the evils of winter

We understand. Getting ready to go out this time of year can be a hassle. There may be snow. It may be cold. The flannel sheets on your bed could be calling your name.

Person walking on trail in snow covered forest

But it’s worth the effort to get out there, and the research backs it up!

Great benefits for the brain

Spending time in nature and getting outdoors for about two hours over the course of a week can make a big difference to your mental health.

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Here are just some of the brain benefits of spending time in green (well, sometimes white) spaces:

  • People who walk in nature report an increase in positive emotions.
  • Children need nature! Spending time outdoors can reduce anxiety and improve concentration and self-esteem.
  • Nature is an antidote to stress and can increase feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
  • Spending time in natural spaces can increase attention span, creativity, and the ability to connect with other people.
  • Going outside for a while with natural light can help you combat seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that affects people this time of year.

Nature is “awesome”!

Our friends at Coleman Canada also know that nature calls us outside to improve our mental health. They have a few other reasons why it’s great for the body and brain to get outdoors during the colder months!

Various animal footprints in the snow in the winter forest

Peace and tranquility! You may find that there are fewer people on your favorite hiking trail or nature walk during the winter, so you can enjoy the pure silence only found in a snow-covered forest.

Time to try something new! Winter provides the perfect opportunity to try a new activity, like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or ice fishing.

Winter = wildlife! Winter is an excellent season for wildlife viewing. Trees that can block our view of wildlife in summer are now bare. If you don’t see wildlife, the footprints they leave in the snow will let you know they were there!

Fresh air, fresh eyes! Getting outdoors in a different season brings a different perspective! A natural space that you have visited a hundred times can look completely different covered in snow, making each walk a new adventure!

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Nature is “amazing”! Spending time in green spaces can inspire feelings of wonder and can be restorative and mood-enhancing. Being surrounded by nature helps us realize how spectacular the world really is and reminds us to disconnect from modern life and live in the moment.

Try it yourself!

Feeling inspired to bundle up and enjoy your dose of nature? Get outside!

You’ll improve your mental health and create magical winter memories!

Ontario Parks thanks its corporate partners like Coleman Canada for their support.