One of the best and most underappreciated ways to keep a sunny frame of mind during the long winter months is to get outside and away from it all at a time when your body is essentially trying to hibernate.
You’d be surprised how an invigorating hike in the middle of winter can improve your outlook prior to the arrival of spring, beautiful spring. And we have a suggestion that could enhance your getaway experience: Cannabis.
You’ve probably heard of circadian rhythms, the 24-hour cycles that govern when we wake and sleep, but most people aren’t familiar with the longer-term body cycles known as infradian rhythms.
Seasons affect our human metabolism, with winter being the time when we shift down and become less active, as this Cleveland Clinic article explains.
It makes sense, if you think about our ancestors’ seasonal cycles. When the weather got cold and game increasingly scarce, it was time to hunker down in the cave and wait for warmer weather. Also, as humans developed into hunter-gatherers, they were able to store food for the winter, further accelerating the evolution of couch time.
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What got lost in the process is the fact that being outside in the winter is an amazing and invigorating antidote to depression and other symptoms associated with seasonal affective disorder, known by the apt acronym SAD. And even if you’re not feeling depressed, a brisk walk in the bracing winter temperatures will leave you feeling better than you did before you ventured out.
This is where cannabis can come in. Among the best documented effects of cannabis is its ability to deliver “a pleasant euphoria and sense of relaxation,” according to no less an authority than the U.S. government. It also notes that another common effect is “heightened sensory perception.”
That can transform a walking in the woods, a snowshoe excursion or a stroll in the rain into a magical experience, with the patterns and surprises of nature taking your enjoyment into a whole new realm.
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Greenlight Approved can help here. The consumer education platform is dedicated to “guiding the cannabis curious.” We believe when you start something new, it’s best to start slow. Gather all the information you can to make a safe informed decision. Let Greenlight Approved be your guide so your first experience with cannabis is an educated, safe and positive one. Let us direct you to premium product and brand options as well as participating retailers near you, at www.greenlightapproved.com.
Finally, a few tips to make sure your winter wonderland adventure is a positive one:
- If you don’t own good outdoor winter gear make the investment. It’s entirely possible to be completely comfortable in wintry weather if you are dressed appropriately. What you need will depend on your locale but think layers with an outer layer that protects against whatever elements you expect to encounter, be it rain, snow or plain old cold weather.
- If you’re new to an activity like backpacking or snowshoeing, consider going with an experienced companion who can ensure you have the right equipment for your chosen path and coach you on the best techniques for traveling across winter terrain.
- If you go by yourself, be prepared. Be sure to let someone know where you’re going and what time you expect to return. Bring a map and compass, a cell phone (though you can’t always get a signal in the backcountry), food and some extra clothing.
- Some users experience a sense of disorientation after consuming cannabis. If you know the area where you’re hiking like the back of your hand, this shouldn’t be a problem, but the aforementioned map and compass can prevent your adventure from turning into a nightmare if you lose your bearings. Also, be wary of drop-offs, water hazards and other perilous terrain when you’re under the influence.
Now get out there and enjoy!