And for the Meanwhile

Cash Wagner, Staff Writer

Mental well-being is an important factor in long-term health, especially for high school students. However, it can be difficult to find the time and place to breathe fresh air because of commitments that school can bring. This is especially true in the colder months of the year when getting outside can feel more like a chore than an experience.

David Bierly, a counselor at Minnetonka High School, said that “having an open mind about [what] you can do outside” is an important factor in encouraging mental health for students.

Whether it’s snowshoeing, learning to ski, or simply taking a walk outside, Bierly says that doing activities as groups can also provide motivation for being outdoors.

“Encouraging each other to do [outdoor activities]” can help, Bierly said, “so that it is a positive experience, it’s not just a miserable experience.”

Outdoor activities are some of the best ways to encourage mental health. If finding time to go outside is difficult, joining a group is a fine option.

“I’m doing ultimate frisbee this year, I’m on the mountain biking team as well,” said Gus Davidson, ‘25. Actively finding time to go outdoors is simple “during the Nordic season,” he said.

Davidson also takes advantage of the outdoors outside of sports. “I find myself going outside a lot more in the off-season because of Nordic,” Davidson said, with “a lot of biking in the summer.” In this way, he is able to benefit his own mental well-being through simply finding the right times to be in nature.

Though time can be limited in the colder months, David Bierly suggests thinking ahead, as

going outdoors “certainly requires some planning a lot of the times in winter.”

But, with the addition of finding the time to participate in outdoor activities, mental, physical, and emotional health can truly benefit.