In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, outdoor retailer L.L.Bean is going “off the grid” for a second consecutive year, pausing all social media channels to prioritize time outside.
Beginning May 1, the company said it will wipe its social media profiles clean, leaving 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. The company added that participation in the challenge will raise money for Mental Health America.
Shawn Gorman, executive chairman at L.L.Bean, said in a statement that he is “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.
“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,” added Gorman. “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.”
Mental Health America’s president and CEO Schroeder Stribling added that time outside is a simple act one can take to prioritize their own wellbeing. “Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can have tremendous benefits for our mental health, helping to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and increase feelings of calmness and relaxation. 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.”
L.L. Bean first started going “off the grid” for the month of May last year. At the time of the announcement, the company left a set of six posts on its Instagram that create a grid of an outdoor landscape with the words “Gone Fishin’” on one of the posts with a link to a few online resources that provide tips and tools to prioritize self-care. The company also announced last May a $500,000 grant and its two-year partnership with Mental Health America.