A cure for the January blues? Go outside

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The Nature Conservancy of Canada reminds people to get outdoors to improve our mood and our physical, emotional and mental well-being.

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The Nature Conservancy of Canada said this is especially true today, Blue Monday – the third Monday in January, which raises awareness for depression, anxiety and those suffering from the winter blues.

“This is particularly acute as the pandemic continues to drag on and people and businesses face various restrictions, closures, cancellations and lockdowns in different provinces,” according to a press release issued on Monday.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada reminds people to get outdoors to improve their mood and physical, emotional and mental well-being.

“Canadians continue to seek refuge outdoors to help cope with the stress and anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic. »

A new Ipsos Public Affairs poll conducted for NCC reveals that 82% of respondents spend time in nature.

Thirty-seven percent reported spending more time outdoors compared to their life before the pandemic began in March 2020. Among respondents, women, youth and young families were most likely to spend more time outdoors.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada said in a news release Monday that connecting with nature is important for people’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.

“These results underscore why protecting and providing access to nature is important and helps us all,” said François Duclos, Senior Visitor Use Planning Advisor at NCC.

“Many Canadians are turning to nature reserves, trails, green spaces and parks for physically distanced outdoor activities. People want to connect safely with others or get out to get some sun and go for a walk, hike, run or bike ride. They take advantage of opportunities to breathe fresh air, exercise, feel a sense of calm, and take a break from increased telecommuting and screen time.

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Of the 18% who said they were spending less time in nature, the conservation said a third said they were following their provincial health guidelines and staying close to home. Lack of access was a barrier for many who said they needed transportation or did not have natural areas near where they live. Others said they just didn’t have the time.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada offers people tips on how to get the most out of winter nature outings. A list of helpful suggestions for staying warm and safe includes

Come prepared by wearing or bringing several layers of clothing to stay warm, as well as a hat, scarf, mittens, and a waterproof jacket.

Be sure to stay as dry as possible, as water on the skin from wet clothing can quickly chill the body.

Have proper boots and footrests to provide traction on slippery surfaces.

Let others know where you are going and bring a phone so you can call for help if you get lost.

Research the area you are visiting for any special regulations or concerns.

Be prepared for extreme weather conditions, hazards and emergencies.

Plan your activity to avoid periods of heavy use to allow for easier physical distancing.

Know your limits and your equipment. Take it easy, choose lower-risk activities to avoid injury.

Visit in small groups.

Divide large groups into groups of four to six.

Stay on durable trails and surfaces.

Pack up all garbage, leftover food and bedding, and all pet waste.

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Respect other users and visitors and protect the quality of their experience.

Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.

Take breaks and let the sounds of nature prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.

Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach animals. Never feed the animals. Feeding wild animals harms their health, alters their natural behaviors and exposes them to predators and other dangers.

Control your pets at any time or leave them at home.

Preserve the past. Examine, but do not touch, cultural or historical structures and artifacts.

Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects as you found them.

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