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When you think of getaway options what comes to mind? Probably first is what you are getting away for. Is it a bridal party? Do you want a cabin rental for a vacation from work? Perhaps a wedding venue for one of the most important decisions of your life.
We all work so hard to provide great lives for ourselves and our loved ones, it's important to take time away from the hustle and noise of the city and work life to relax. Reconnecting with nature is one of the best ways to relax, and can have many health benefits. The Pocono Mountains have over 2,400 square miles of rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and beautiful mountain wilderness - all located in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania.
Imagine waking up in a private cottage to the gentle sound of birds chirping. As you get out of bed, and walk across the wooden cottage floor, you look outside to see the first rays of sunlight glistening off of a majestic lake. As your eyes sweep the lake you notice some deer walking through the forest, a bald eagle swoops down to catch a morning fish, and a moose is walking through the water.
Though it may seem a little too fantastic, it isn't. The Pocono Mountain Wilderness is incredibly diverse and wildlife sightings are very common. As you get ready for the day, you begin cooking. The aroma of bacon and eggs fills the cottage, and will soon fill your belly. After finishing the food, it's time to get on with the day's activities.
In the Poconos, there are many activities to choose from. For outdoor enthusiasts, hiking on the Appalachian or canoeing the Delaware might be the activity of choice. Horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing, and white water rafting are also all available. One of the most popular destinations is the incredible Bushkill Falls.
In addition to the many outdoor activities that can be experienced, hot air balloons are also available to ride. There are jazz and bluegrass concerts and film festivals. Fine restaurants and museums can also be found nearby to experience the culture of Pennsylvania.
As the day draws to a close, perhaps you find yourself at one of these restaurants or concerts. Or maybe you are back out on the lake fishing and watching the evening sun cast a majestic glow across the lake. In these quiet moments, it gives you time to reflect and appreciate with gratitude the life you have, and to ponder changes you want to make over the coming years.
After dark you find yourself back in your cottage, filled with plenty of amenities that make life during your getaway comfortable and relaxing. As you drift off to sleep a smile tugs at the corners of your mouth, because you know that tomorrow starts a whole new adventure in the Poconos.
We often hear about the importance of protecting the rain forests and coral reefs for the preservation of the planet, but what about for the preservation of mental health? Being in nature hosts a cascade of mental health benefits that many are not aware of - and each is backed by solid science.
Here are some of the top health benefits of spending time in nature:
Nature as a tool for stress relief: There was a study done in South Korea that showed simply looking at pictures of natural settings (forests, lakes, mountains) was enough to increase a person's positivity and emotional stability for the day. If simply looking at a picture can have that type of effect on a person's brain, imagine what actually being in nature can do.
Increased Creativity: U.S. and German researchers performed a study that showed that spending time in nature increased a person's creativity. There are many hypotheses as to why this happens. Perhaps being in nature helps us relax and open our minds to new possibilities. Maybe it is seeing the beautiful and creative way that nature expresses itself.
Increased Empathy: Being in nature has been shown in several studies to increase empathy in individuals. What an incredible excuse to spend some more time outside and in nature.