Even if you already use cannabis to help regulate the ups and downs of daily life, the end of the year can be stressful for anyone. Between all of the social and family obligations, work parties, budgeting for gifts, dark nights and preparing for the beginning of a new year, it can seem like you won’t ever be able to relax.
Many people are carving out some much-needed leisure time during the holiday season by skipping the increasingly cutthroat Black Friday sales. Instead, they’re choosing to “Opt Outside” for Black Friday, a campaign started three years ago by outdoor recreation brand REI. The idea behind Opt Outside is to encourage people not to participate in Black Friday—the department stores, fluorescent lights and crowded parking lots full of frustrated people—and instead go outside and experience the benefits of fresh air, sunshine and physical movement.
Spending time outside in nature is [proven to have a number of benefits](http://www.businessinsider.com/scientific-benefits-of-nature-outdoors-2016-4/#4-reduc ed-inflammation-4) from reducing stress and increasing mental focus to improving concentration and boosting creativity. Incorporating cannabis into your Opt Outside day can enhance your experience and add additional benefits as marijuana can help relieve pain and inflammation, as well as combat depression, anxiety and stress.
If you’re looking for some ideas to Opt Outside with cannabis this upcoming Black Friday, check out our suggestions—and have a great time in the great outdoors.
Get your blood pumping with a hike paired with an energizing sativa strain like Durban Poison or Amnesia Haze. A sativa strain won’t make you feel sleepy or relax you so much that you have second thoughts about finishing your route. Consider taking a vape pen with you, so you can take a puff here and there without worrying about lighting up while you’re walking—plus it’s not a fire hazard like a joint is.
Stretch your Opt Outside activity into a weekend-long camping adventure with friends and family. Because you’ll have a few days to relax, you’ll have plenty of time to incorporate cannabis in whatever way feels best to you. Kick back in the tent with a compact and easily portable sublingual strip to help you sleep at night, add the recommended dose of a sativa cannabis-infused tincture to your morning coffee or keep some edibles handy.
RELATED: [INDICA OR SATIVA? MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE](https://www.hellomd.com/health-wellness/55d4c0dc6338310006000000/indica-or-sati va-making-the-right-choice)
If the weather is warm enough, try packing up some cannabis-infused food and head to a park or open space to enjoy the sun and spend some time outside. You can make your own edibles using our cannabutter recipe, or stop by a dispensary and pick up some ready-made snacks or drinks to enjoy your day.
For a short ride around your neighborhood, taking a few puffs of a balancing hybrid strain like Mango Haze or Green Crack before you head out the door will give you a little bit of calm and can also help prevent any joint pain that might follow. For a longer bike ride, try taking a vape pen with you or nibble on an edible like these banana crisps to help your pleasant experience last for the duration of your journey.
Slow things down and learn more about nature by going outside anywhere there may be lots of birds. Find a forest area, a park with lots of trees or even your own backyard to sit back, relax and let the adventure come to you. Pair bird watching with a marijuana strain like Jack Herer or Sour Diesel that will help you focus and keep you alert yet relaxed.
Even if you’re not sure about adding marijuana to your Opt Outside activities, you can always add cannabis to your cool-down routine afterwards. Marijuana topicals can help alleviate sore muscles, while a soak in a cannabis-infused bath can aid in recovery and add even more relaxation to your day.
Photo credit: Zach Betten