Take a Hike This Holiday Weekend

With all of the turmoil that is occurring both in our country and across the world today, it is no wonder that Americans are feeling more stressed out than at any time in our recent history. Although the economy has been operating at full employment for quite a while, polls reveal that more Americans than ever are feeling financially insecure. Psychologists tell us that we are living in an Age of Anxiety, attributable in large part to the way in which modern life is not good either for our mental or physical health. Life expectancy for white males in America actually has decreased in this decade for the first time since such records have been kept. And more of our fellow Americans than ever are on some kind of medication, whether antidepressants (for mental health issues) or other drugs (for physical conditions) that have depression as a side effect. A recent article in the New York Times suggested that attaining happiness in life under our present circumstances is an elusive goal. However, the writer suggested that instead of focusing on trying to figure out how to be happy, we should strive to attain moments of joy in our daily lives. It struck us that this prescription is a version of the phrase carpe diem — seize the day — used by the Roman poet Horace to express the idea that one should enjoy life while one can. So with the weatherman forecasting nice weather for most of the long, Columbus Day weekend, here’s our Rx for de-stressing: Take a long walk, preferably a hike, whether along the shore, or in the mountains, or even as nearby as the Blue Hills. We promise that just being outside and taking in the natural world in the crisp air, away from the noise of our daily lives, will do wonders for our emotional and physical well-being. We wish all of our readers a joyful — and stress-free — Columbus Day weekend.

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