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Freeport, ME, May 7, 2021

Giving the Gift of Awe This Mother’s Day

2020 was a (very) long year for moms; it’s time for a reset

We don’t need to belabor the stressors of the past year, but it’s worth reflecting on who played an outsized role when it came to keeping some semblance of normalcy in the most not-normal year many of us will ever know. Recent data from Pew Research shows that whether it was because of school closings or child-care responsibility, moms, especially those who continued to work remotely, overwhelmingly carried the burden of adjusting family life to COVID.

It’s not new news that moms often take on a significant share of parenting and household duties—and the pandemic made clear the ways this continues to disadvantage moms at home and in the workplace.

Many moms are exhausted, overworked, and at the end of their ropes. To say that need more support and resources is overdue. To say they need a rest is an understatement. And with Mother’s Day in our midst, there’s no better time to say thanks to the moms in our lives.

While gift- and flower-giving have become hallmarks of Mother’s Day (these are great ideas, by the way, and so is breakfast-in-bed), giving mom the gift of time outside—regularly—is one that provides for a whole array of benefits, beyond those she might get from a bouquet of Dahlias and a plate of chocolate chip pancakes.

Time in nature, and the awe it inspires, is the perfect antidote to the stress and anxiety mom faced over the last year. Whether mom can sneak away for 20 minutes ( this study found that just 20 minutes a day in an urban green space could increase feelings of restoration and decrease stress) or can spend some extended time surrounded by wilderness ( this one shows that 90-minutes in nature lessens the stress-magnifier “rumination,” also known as repetitive thinking) time outside can profound effects on her well-being.

This Mother’s Day, ask: How can we get mom outside?