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L.L.Bean to take break from social media

Studies have shown that spending time outdoors benefits mental health.

An outdoor retailer is going “off the grid” for a worthy cause.

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, L.L.Bean, for the second consecutive year, will take a month-long break from posting on its social media channels starting on May 1. It will leave behind expert-informed resources, tips and tools to support people in getting outside for their own mental wellbeing.

To encourage participation, L.L.Bean is partnering with social fitness app Strava, inviting users to log their outdoor time in the app as part of the L.L.Bean Feel-Good Challenge, with a goal to spend a combined 500,000 hours outside during the month of May.

Participation in the challenge will raise money for Mental Health America, with whom L.L.Bean has engaged in a two-year partnership focused on outdoor mental wellness research and programming.

“My great-grandfather Leon Leonwood Bean believed that nature is the most powerful antidote to the stresses of life, a conviction confirmed by modern research,” said Shawn Gorman, L.L.Bean executive chairman. “Our priority at L.L.Bean is to support our customers on their outdoor journeys, outfitting them in quality gear and creating greater accessibility to outdoor activities. We’re honored to partner with Mental Health America and Strava to encourage as many people as possible to experience the restorative power of time spent outside.”

L.L. Bean said studies have shown that spending time outdoors – whether in green spaces like parks or forests, blue spaces such as near lakes, rivers and coastlines, or even in urban environments – has significant mental health benefits, including greater creativity, lower levels of stress, increased self-esteem and reduced anxiety.

“Being in nature can also improve our cognitive function and creativity, serving as a grounding force among the stressors of our daily lives,” said Mental Health America president and CEO Schroeder Stribling. Whether it is a walk outside or a visit to a local park, just a few minutes outside can make a meaningful impact and lead to improved mental health.”

Through its partnerships with Mental Health America and Strava, as well as ongoing research focused on the benefits of experiencing “awe” in the outdoors, L.L.Bean aims to further inspire and enable people to experience the restorative power of time outside and the proven mental wellness benefits it provides.

Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, family-owned company operates 56 stores in 19 states across the United States, along with 25 stores in Japan and 12 stores in Canada in partnership with Jaytex Group. The 220,000-sq. ft. L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, Maine, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and sees more than 3 million visitors every year.

The retailer continues to uphold the values of its founder, including his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors. In 2022, L.L.Bean donated $5.5 million to outdoor and community-enriching organizations focused on increasing access to and inclusivity in the outdoors.

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