Great Outdoors Month, designated each June through a presidential proclamation, celebrates the land we live on and promotes environmental stewardship. Brookhaven Retreat recognizes that the outdoors greatly benefit women with mental health and substance abuse issues.
Outdoor spaces provide an opportunity to exercise, enjoy sunshine, release stress and take time for oneself. Surrounding oneself with beauty promotes feelings of appreciation and positivity. Being outdoors can also increase social connection and decrease feelings of isolation.
British researchers found that even five minutes outside has a positive effect on mental health. According to a Harvard Health Letter, spending time outdoors benefits mental health in several ways, including by stimulating the creation of vitamin D, which helps reduce depression. Increased physical activity, outdoors especially, has also been linked to reduced levels of anxiety and depression.
Brookhaven Retreat finds that time spent outdoors engaging in physical activity or in quiet contemplation calms anxiety, boosts mood, creates inner tranquility and encourages positive thought. In June, it celebrates the impact of east Tennessee’s natural beauty on the recovery of women with mental health issues.