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After difficult week, mental health experts encourage people to get outside this weekend

The situation in Texas is hitting many people especially hard this week, so experts are encouraging people to focus on mental health this holiday weekend.

MINNEAPOLIS — We all relax in different ways. For Marcus McCrory, it’s kayaking.

“It’s peaceful, it’s quiet,” McCrory says.

It’s how he escapes the worries of the world around him, and why he decided to take his kayak out to Medicine Lake Park in Plymouth Friday afternoon.

“Just to get away from people. Just getting out on the middle of the lake is perfect,” McCrory says.

We could all use a mental break after the week we’ve just had — the ongoing situation in Uvalde, Texas is hitting many people especially hard.

Shannah Mulvihill is the executive director at Mental Health Minnesota. She says her office has been getting a lot of calls and emails from people who are having a difficult time processing everything that has happened this week.

"There's been so much, just so much that people have had to deal with. So, when it seems like one more thing, it just feels overwhelming,” Mulvilhill says.

That's why she's encouraging people to focus on mental health this Memorial Day weekend, to get outside like Marcus, and find what works for you.

"Take a walk, order in, go out, see friends, watch a movie. Play with your kids, find something to do that takes your mind off all the things that are happening in the world that we just can’t control,” Mulvihill says.

She says it might also be helpful for some people to “unplug” and put their phone away for a few hours.

"I think too often we feel guilty or selfish if we kind of disconnect from the outside world and there's no reason for that,” Mulvihill says.

“Most of us are pretty glued to our phones a lot of the time. So, even taking a break for a couple of hours can be a powerful thing in terms of a reset or a recharge for you.”

Memorial Day weekend provides the perfect opportunity get outside — it's a big weekend for camping.

The Minnesota DNR says less than 100 of the state's 4,500 camp sites are still available. However, parks and trails are always open for day trips.

Click here to use the Minnesota DNR’s “Find a State Park” interactive map.

Mulvihill is also encouraging people to seek help if they are having a difficult time processing the events of this past week.

For support and resources, you can visit www.mentalhealthmn.org, or you can call 1833-HERE4MN or text “support” to 85511.

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.

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