In 2015, PropTalk and SpinSheet Publishing Company introduced a new idea called Blue Friday. In this concept, people are encouraged to go outside on Black Friday, even if they plan to spend part of the day shopping. In fact, MarineMax, SpinSheet, and PropTalk Magazine are urging everyone to get outside not only the day after Thanksgiving, but all month long to spend time with friends, family, and fishing buddies. Whether you’re in a warm sunny climate or the air is beginning to become brisk, getting outside is more than an opportunity to connect with loved ones—it’s also good for you!
In his bestselling book, Blue Mind, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols cites numerous studies showing that being on and around the water has tangible benefits. According to Nichols, the mere sight and sound of water promote wellness by lowering cortisol—or stress, which increases serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin—your brain’s “feel-good hormones.”
When people are constantly connected to devices, it creates stress and anxiety, something Nichols dubs, “Red Mind.” In contrast, “Blue Mind” is when people are in a state of calmness, peacefulness, and happiness, due to the association with water.
During a pandemic, when stress and anxiety can be high, experts say it’s especially important to find ways to unplug and unwind. The Centers for Disease Control also published a page on its website urging readers to find healthy ways to deal with the anxiety that stems from a pandemic.
During the summer, it has been reported that people have been flocking to boating in droves, and that might be easing some of that stress. The University of Exeter Medical School in the United Kingdom published research showing that people living near the ocean are 22% less likely to be depressed or anxious.
Regardless of the season, make it a point to get outside, and if you spend it by the water, even better! If you do make it out and about, share your adventures with us by using the hashtag #BlueFriday.
According to a 2017 study by Wakefield Research, four out of 5 people say being around water relaxes them and 72% of Americans say they feel healthier after spending time on the water.
“A boat is, in fact, medicine for our minds,” says Nichols, adding that those benefits are magnified when shared with loved ones.
“A grandfather who takes his grandchild fishing builds lasting one-on-one memories. Spouses bond over being on the water. We get closer to our friends, and because of how it makes us feel, water is certainly a great place for a date,” says Nichols. “We recall those experiences later—both consciously and unconsciously—and that helps with our connections. With larger boats that require more than one person, you build teamwork, trust, and shared adventure, all memory-makers.”