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< Current Stories

Freeport, ME, December 2, 2021

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of holiday season – shopping for the perfect gifts, volunteering in our communities, attending gatherings with friends and family. And before we know it, the holidays are gone and we’re in the throes of winter – darker days, colder weather, more time indoors.

In fact, some of us experience post-holiday blues, which experts believe, in part, is caused by withdrawal of the stress hormones we feel during a major event, like a wedding, an important deadline, or the holidays. Experts also believe that the disruption in routines brought on by the holidays is also to blame – after all routines are good for our mental and physical health.

This season, before you find yourself grappling with post-holiday blues, think about the ways in which you can give yourself something that doesn’t require another trip to the mall or over scheduling yourself. Something that will give you more than the satisfaction of a material possession – time outside. Sit on your front porch for your first cup of coffee, taking in the cool, crisp smell of winter. Take a stroll around the neighborhood on freshly fallen snow and listen to the sound of snow crunching underneath your boots.

We know anecdotally that getting outside is good for us – but what about it should make you consider gifting it to yourself this year? Time in nature arouses awe – a feeling of being in the presence of something so vast and powerful that it transcends our current understanding of the world. People who experience awe and its restorative effects are happier, healthier, less stressed and more socially connected. It’s the perfect antidote to the stress of the holiday season – and the post-holiday blues that may come after it.

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