By Zoya Gervis // SWNS
Looking for ways to clear your head? According to a new survey, getting out into nature, hitting the beach and getting some more zzz’s are the best ways to de-stress, especially during this quarantine fog.
A poll of 2,000 Americans found half (50%) simply enjoy getting out in nature as a positive daily action for their mental health.
For more mental clarity, a further 44% will head to the beach or take a vacation or trip away, proving just how tough these past few quarantined months have been for many Americans.
The study conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Reef aimed to determine the ways Americans relax, unwind and destress from their hectic daily lives and discovered that getting enough sleep (44%), eating healthy (42%) and spending time with family and friends (41%) were among a few of the ways people actively do something positive for their mental health.
Another 39% choose to exercise as a way to clear their heads while a further 35% opt for meditation as a positive way to de-stress.
Nearly a third (32%) unplug from all of their devices to gain some mental clarity and unwind from the day.
While 41% choose to engage in physical activity in the hopes of decompressing from stress.
Overall, when it comes to unwinding, the beach emerged as the prime location for both relaxation and fun.
With nearly three in four Americans revealing that they would go to the beach to alleviate stress, it’s no wonder the sound of ocean waves is a go-to relaxation sound.
In fact, the research found that nearly four in five people say a day at the beach turns their bad mood around.
What makes the beach so uplifting? Well, when asked which beach-specific activities help to de-stress, respondents’ overall top choice was taking a leisurely walk along the shore, followed by listening to the sound of the waves and of course, sitting down with a nice book.
When asked what makes up the “perfect beach day,” the poll uncovered that a 79 degree day in July is the setup for a dream trip.
With more than two thirds of respondents revealing work causes them stress, it’s no wonder that nearly half (48%) would happily call out “sick” to work to head to the beach if they lived near one.
In fact, the beach is such a good mood-boost that more than half of people (54%) said they would give up coffee all summer if it meant being able to go to the beach.
How men and women perceive their beach experience differs, though. While both genders agree family beaches are the most preferred (28% for men and 29% for women), a very close second for each is a “party beach” for men (26%) and an empty beach for women (27%).
“It’s evident that the beach plays a big role in alleviating daily stressors from our lives,” says Dr. Heidi Hanna, stress expert and REEF brand ambassador. “These last few months have been a trying time for our nation, and many are looking for little ways to unwind. Whether it’s meditating and exercising or getting out into nature or going to the beach, it’s important that we engage our body and mind in activities that naturally lift our mood.”
When heading to the beach, Americans have certain essentials they wouldn’t dare leave the house without. The number one beach essential is sunglasses (57%).
A beach towel (57%), sunscreen (56%), sandals/flip-flops (49%) and food/snacks (44%) all round out the top five.
But 30% must have their headphones with them at the beach, while a further 27% need to bring some type of ball when hitting the shore.
And when choosing the best footwear for a beach trip, the flip flop comes in as the top style pick with nearly half of the vote.
That’s not the only fashion situation people are concerned about at the beach though, in fact, nearly a quarter of respondents (26%) said they’ve dealt with a dreaded wardrobe malfunction while frolicking at the shore, more specifically a broken flip flop (27%).
“For the REEF brand, the beach is a way of life, but through this survey, we wanted to uncover just how important it is for people around the country too,” said Mike Jensen, President of REEF. “Summer will certainly look differently this year, but it’s still important to take stock not only of how being in nature affects our mood in a positive way, but also the importance of protecting this environment that we love so much, from the sand to the sea.”
TOP 5 WAYS AMERICANS DE-STRESS AT THE BEACH*
Take a leisurely walk 53%
Listen to the waves 47%
Listen to music 46%
Read a book 43%
Lay in the sun 42%
TOP 5 WAYS AMERICANS DO SOMETHING POSITIVE FOR THEIR MENTAL HEALTH*
Getting out into nature 50%
Going to the beach 44%
Taking a vacation/trip 44%
Getting enough sleep 44%
Eating healthy 42%
TOP 10 BEACH ESSENTIALS*
Beach towel 57%
Bathing suit 44%
*respondents chose all that applied