Taking Time Outdoors

Editorial Board

The gloomy early months of the year have ended and flowers are beginning to bloom again. COVID stress, along with the stress of saying forever goodbyes to fellow students has taken a toll on our mental health. See the stories on pages 12-15 for how to cope. One way to find relief is to go outside. Green fills the lawns and fields. Trees are no longer naked and provide shade on hot days. The temperature settles perfectly in between hot and cold on nice days. Going outside to the beauty of the nature Missouri has to offer doesn’t seem so difficult after months of bitter cold.
While crowds can be a dangerous place because of fears of contracting COVID-19, escaping to more secluded fresh air is a welcomed option.
There are many wonders in nature that are waiting to be explored. Being able to experience the sunrise from the top of a hill or seeing the stars on a clear night away from a light-polluted city area is more memorable than taking a trip to the mall. Missouri caves offer adventures. See page 22 for a story about how Nixa students have ventured underground.
Go see if the state lives up to its wildlife standards. Venturing through a hiking or nature trail will be better than the dull concrete surrounding Nixa and Springfield.
It’s understandable that being outdoors all the time isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t safely explore nature. Going on a drive down a country road might lead you to a breathtaking field that urges you out of the comfort of your car. Car commercials showcase customers escaping to a gorgeous view in their luxury SUVs— this can be you. You do not need to be in an expensive vehicle to find a memorable location outdoors. Starting a garden can ensure you get outside and stay close to home. See the story on page 28.
Take a moment to appreciate what was given to us naturally. The beauty of the wilderness is often overlooked when the thrill of indoor urban attractions are so easily accessible. However, many thrills wait to be experienced nearby outside. High school students often complain that there is nothing to do in Nixa besides visit Walmart, so now that the weather is warming up, go outside.
Two Rivers is 10 minutes away from NHS and has a lovely trail system to explore. Springfield has a nature center and several nature secluded trails or parks around the city. Nathanael Greene is the home to several gardens that are ready to bloom now that spring has begun. Nixa and Ozark have small parks of their own that can be enjoyed — even for teenagers.
Take a break from populated outings and lonesome video games by stepping outside. Enjoy the safety of being able to spread out more than six feet while in the company of others. Stop eating out at restaurants and go on a picnic instead. Appreciate the beauty given by nature and go outside.
Experiencing nature first-hand will increase happiness and decrease stress. Our school has been bogged down with grief this winter. Go outside.