Summer grilling with Chef Heidi Fink. (Lia Crowe photography)

Summer is on its way, get out and enjoy it

With any luck, this summer won’t be all about forest fires and air quality advisories.

Summer is right around the corner, and after a harsh winter on Vancouver Island, it’s time to enjoy the warmer weather.

This winter saw immense dumps of snowfall, (by Vancouver Island standards), and a devastating wind storm that caused property damage, power outages, and blocked access to certain neighbourhoods.

With any luck, this summer won’t be all about forest fires and air quality advisories. B.C. is predicted to be the hottest province in the country this year, and even though it’s nearly the beginning of summer, it feels like summer has been here for months already.

June is the perfect month to go outside and actually enjoy it. Spend a day on the water, whether its down at Transfer Beach, up at Lake Cowichan, or over at the Nanaimo river. Head out on the trails, either for a hike or bike ride around Holland Creek. Outdoor activities don’t need to be strenuous. They can be as simple as reading a book out on the deck, or fire up the grill and have dinner outside. Maybe grab some ice cream and stroll around downtown, you deserve it.

According to Harvard Medical School, spending time outside makes people happier, more fit, their concentration will improve, and they may even heal faster from injuries. Exposure to light has also been found to lessen symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, more commonly known as seasonal depression, according to B.C.’s Provincial Depression Strategy.

Information from Island Health has previously indicated that Vancuver Island residents are among the most depressed in B.C. and part of that may be due to dreary, wet, overcast Island winters. (Depression is a complex issue, and not all depressive conditions are related to weather.)

An added benefit of going outside and enjoying the weather is that it distracts from time spent inside or in front of a screen. Get away from the doom and gloom of a 24 hour news cycle and enjoy the peace and serenity of nature.

Although it is a challenge to get ahold of anyone on Vancouver Island on Friday afternoons in the summer months, life and work don’t stop just because the weather is nice. That being said, if you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to break from the routine and relax, now is the time.

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