Hillsborough County – Parks, Recreation, and Psychological Well being


According to the National Recreation and Park AssociationIt’s almost unanimous across generations, from Baby Boomers to Gen Z, that everyone agrees that activities offered by parks and recreational organizations benefit mental health.

Whether someone is just hitting a hiking trail or taking a tone and stretch class with friends, spending more time in parks and green spaces is a surefire way to combat mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and stress.

The National Recreation and Park Association found that socializing with friends and family, spending time in nature, and exercise were some of the top reasons people saw an improvement in their mental health after using parks and recreation services.

The exercise

Exercise is one of the most well-known ways to reduce symptoms of depression or anxiety and positively impact a person’s well-being. The reasons for this are both physical and mental. Physical exercise releases feel-good endorphins in your body that relieve pain and induce a positive feeling. During training, you also need to focus on that task, which in turn keeps you from focusing on what is stressing and anxious for you at the time.

But exercise doesn’t mean you have to run laps of a track over and over again (unless it makes you happy – then do it!). Exercise comes in a variety of options these days. From classes like tone and stretch and Skateboard Lessons to state-of-the-art fitness centerHillsborough County Parks & Recreation offers you a wide range of choices.

spend time in nature

As technology becomes more important in our daily lives, people seem to spend less time outside and enjoying the green spaces around them. But being in nature has been shown to increase a person’s well-being and reduce anxiety, depression and stress in their life. According to an article by the American Psychological Associationa study from the United Kingdom, “showed that people who spent at least two hours of free time in nature in the previous week reported significantly better health and well-being.” From kayaking and canoeing on the amazing rivers, creeks and waterways of Hillsborough County Bird watching of various local and migratory species who call local parks and conservation areas home, the county has many Outdoor adventures for residents to use and increase their well-being.

Can’t get out when you have to? Although personal is always better, several mental health studies suggest that simply looking at nature images or videos can be beneficial for your mental health, especially for those who may not have easy access to nature. Taking a few minutes, or even just a few moments, for a virtual break in nature can help restore cognitive abilities that can be dulled by an overwhelming environment. Take a few minutes now Virtually visit some of Hillsborough County’s parks and preserves.

socializing with friends and family

It is well known that socializing is good for the body and mind. According to the Mayo Clinic, Socializing not only wards off feelings of loneliness, it also helps sharpen memory and cognitive skills, increases your happiness and well-being, and may even help you live longer. Socialization occurs in many different facets of our lives, but is almost always part of your experience at your local park. Whether you’re meeting your neighbor on the trail or participating in a group activity, you’ll always find opportunities to socialize at a park even if you haven’t set out. Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation offers residents many opportunities to meet at its centers throughout the county. esports programming, Leisure leagues for adultsand summer camp are just a few of the many programs that offer residents the opportunity to socialize in county parks.

Mindful Monday’s Mental Health Resources

Mindful Mondays promotes different ways you can make your mental health a priority without taking up too much of your busy schedule. From virtual chair yoga classes to tips on how to unwind after a long day, Hillsborough County’s offers Mindful Mondaysvarious interactive resourcesso you can access it regardless of the day or time.

Interested in more mindful videos that improve your mental health? Visit theThe Mindful Monday YouTube playlist.