MEEKER | Cabin fever is defined as irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter–which we all know can sometimes feel like our longest season here in Meeker.
Park and recreation agencies have many ways to overcome mental health threats, which can be more pervasive than any of us would like to admit. According to National Alliance on Mental Illness data, 20% of American adults experience mental illness annually, while more than 18% experience anxiety disorders. Furthermore, many adults and youth alike are not being treated for these conditions and can feel isolated as a result. Fortunately, parks and recreational activities can be extremely effective in the promotion of physical and mental health by providing places for positive public interaction and activities, as well as individual reprieve.
The National Recreation and Parks Association reports a growing body of research to support these health benefit statements. For instance, recent evidence based findings suggest that:
– Physician-diagnosed depression and anxiety are significantly higher in residential areas with the fewest park and recreation amenities compared to the neighborhoods with the most.
– People living more than 1 kilometer away from a green space have nearly 50 percent higher odds of experiencing stress than those living less than 300 meters from a green space. Respondents who do not report stress have more than 50 percent higher odds of visiting a green space at least a few days a week than those reporting stress.
– Use of park and recreation facilities and services are strongly associated with decreased health complaints, improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduced stress, improved general health perceptions and a greater ability to face problems.
As always, ERBM has a variety of programs and services to keep you and your family energized and engaged this winter. Find a fit in any of our traditional opportunities or special events, including: the Holiday Social, Breakfast with Santa, or the Dance and Tumbling Expo. Get your do-it-yourself sled ready for the Cardboard Derby at Paintbrush Park, come out to Lake Avery for some ice fishing, or dust off those skis or snowboards for a day at Sunlight Mountain. Perhaps give an art project a try at our acrylic craft workshop or try your luck at the cribbage tournament at the VFW. If basketball is your thing, get signed up for adult coed 3-on-3 basketball league, Hoops for Charity 3v3 Tourney, or the Nuggets Skills Challenge. More information on all of these events/programs can be found in the Winter Line-Up, in mailboxes and online on Nov. 8. Registration begins Monday, Nov. 11.
Be sure to stop by MRC in December to enter our customer appreciation drawings and definitely don’t miss the first two weeks of the new year for our annual MRC Membership Blitz (50% off all annual recreation center passes!).
Winter is truly jam packed at ERBM, and these are just some of the many ways we want to partner with you to fight off the ill effects of cabin fever and combat mental health risks. So come on out and invite someone to join you in getting involved today–it might just have a bigger and more lasting impact than you realize!
By Sean VonRoenn | ERBM Executive Director