Living And Loving Life In Pennsylvania:
How To Take Care Of Mind, Body, And Spirit While Living In The Keystone State by Jennifer Scott
For those suffering with depression and anxiety, life can easily become overwhelming. It’s difficult to find ways to relax and allow your mind to heal after going through a particularly bad bout of depression, especially if there was a catalyst–such as a divorce, a death in the family, or an accident–behind it. Yet figuring out the best ways to cope with those feelings is imperative if you want to heal and move on, and sometimes the best ways to do so involve the great outdoors.
Studies have shown that people who spend time outdoors show less activity in the parts of the brain associated with depression than individuals who spend time in other settings, meaning that getting outside could be just what the doctor ordered.
“These results suggest that accessible natural areas may be vital for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world. Our findings can help inform the growing movement worldwide to make cities more livable, and to make nature more accessible to all who live in them,” says Gretchen Daily, a professor of Environmental Science.
Fortunately for the people of Pennsylvania, there are plenty of places nearby to enjoy all that nature has to offer, and even if the weather is bad, there are tons of destinations that you can visit with your loved ones to reconnect and have a fun day. Here are a few of the best.
The Amish Farm and House
If you’re looking for an educational experience that’s full of Lancaster history, look no further than the Amish Farm and House. Take a tour through the museum, which gives a lot of information about the Amish and Mennonite people and why they choose to live the way they do. Take a walk around the well-kept grounds and allow yourself to imagine what it must be like to live a simpler life. There is also a bus tour available, on which you can stop at some Amish-run stands and stores.
A large farmer’s market located in the middle of the city, Central Market is a great place to walk around and find tons of healthy goodies to eat. It’s not just about fruits and veggies, however; there are also baked goods, crafts, fresh meats, and coffee for those who are looking to do a bigger shopping trip. The market tends to get very busy on weekends, making it difficult to find parking, but it’s open through the week as well. One of the great things about heading to a farmer’s market is that you can enjoy the outdoors while stocking up on fresh foods. Eating well is a big part of taking care of yourself when you’re battling depression.
The U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team
Described by many clients as a “bucket list” adventure, these hot air balloon rides over Amish country will give you a bird’s eye view of some spectacular scenery. Being able to go on a bit of an adventure and see the world from an entirely new perspective can help you focus on positivity and moving forward. Check out the sunrise/sunset trips available, but check the weather forecasts first.
Be easy on yourself; there is no time limit for depression and anxiety, and there is no one right way to cope with it; everyone has different methods. Figure out what works best for you and allow yourself to relax while you’re doing it; this can help enhance those positive thoughts and keep you looking forward.