Outdoor retailer L.L.Bean is going “off the grid” for the month of May in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month. Given that study after study shows that time spent outdoors can lower stress hormone levels, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and improve mood, the company is encouraging its followers and fans to take time outside to prioritize their mental wellbeing in May.
“Research confirms what we have always felt intuitively: Going outside is critical for our individual and collective well-being,” L.L.Bean’s executive chairman, Shawn Gorman, said.
On May 2, L.L.Bean pauses posting across all social media channels, wiping its Instagram grid clean in the process. The outdoors gear firm left behind online resources to encourage people to plug into nature with guides, tips, and tools to prioritize self-care. Bean illuminated commitment to this mission with public financial support during May’s Mental Health Awareness Month.
In conjunction with this mission, L.L. Bean announced a $500,000 grant and two-year partnership with Mental Health America on April 25. The donation will fund research into outdoors wellness, and help reach people through community-based outdoor programs with multimedia campaigns aimed at creating connection and outdoors inclusion.
May is #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth
Today, @LLBean will stop posting on social media to encourage everyone to spend more time outside and prioritize mental health.🥾
This morning on @newscentermaine, I'll tell you some of the benefits of getting some fresh air.
— Alex Haskell (@AlexHaskellTV) May 2, 2022
“For more than a century, L.L.Bean has helped enable people to get outside, based on the belief that experiences in nature help bring out the best in us,” Gorman said. “We are so enthusiastic to partner with Mental Health America to help more people experience the restorative power of the outdoors in their daily lives.”
L.L.Bean has been providing the necessary threads to outfit outdoors-persons for 110 years, inspiring and enabling people to experience the restorative power of open air. Now the company supplements that work with guides on Explore L.L.Bean that include ways to boost mental wellness, how to ease your mind outside, healthy home breaks, and another way to empower people to prioritize mental health with wild excursions.
For founder Leon Leonwood Bean, Gorman’s great grandfather, being outside was more than a hobby — it was a way to achieve balance through a natural perspective.
“To my mind, hunting and fishing is the big lure that takes us into the great open spaces and teaches us to forget the mean and petty things of life,” Bean said.
Spending time in green spaces, such as a park, a yard, or another natural environment, for as little as two hours per week, has shown to have a significant positive impact on physical health and psychological health.
“Our busy schedules can make it seem impossible to find a few minutes for the outdoors. The good news is that it does not take much to reap the benefits – ten minutes outside here and there will add up over time and lead to better mental health,” Mental Health America’s president Schroeder Stribling said.
For Stribling, any reconnection with creation is a powerful act.
“Even a simple walk outside can lower your risk of depression, strengthen cognitive function, and increase focus. All of these effects improve our mental health and well-being at a time when we need it most.”
Now is the perfect time to embrace being outside as spring offers renewed opportunity to bathe in the living beauty that surrounds us. There are endless ways to get out: take an outdoor lunch, schedule a quick mental health break from work, or go full bore and hike up a mountain and/or dive into a body of cold water. Whatever it is, seize a moment to revitalize and restore in the great, green Earth.
For more motivation, an America the Beautiful annual pass provides access to more than 2,000 recreation areas managed by five federal agencies, with up to 100% of pass proceeds used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services. Support or mental health resources along your journey are available at L.L. Bean and explore Mental Health America’s resources at its website.
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