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Every year, couples, families and good friends embrace something special in February: their relationships. It’s a month when we show appreciation for our gal pals, all of the people we love, and in particular, our significant other.

But after almost a full year of sharing the same space every day, working from home together, and seeing no one other than your significant other … February 2021 might seem like a month not worth celebrating in a special way.

This month, however, is the perfect excuse to try something new with your partner — and you can do so safely at destinations across the Mid-Atlantic.

The Importance of Play

Studies — some even new in the last year — have shown that play isn’t just for kids. It’s an essential part of maintaining happy, long-term relationships.

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We recently hiked to the Stone Valley Vista in Greenwood Forest State Park, Pennsylvania./Ellen Matis

“This is all the more prevalent in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic,” says Weiler Counseling, based in Colorado. “With people suddenly out of work, working from home, and the added stress of economic and healthcare concerns, tapping into our resources to reset, recharge, and realign through play is an essential tool in our toolbox for coping with change, life and stress.”

So how do adults play? To name just a few: They explore, they go on a road trip, they drive to a new brewery or they get outdoors.

In the case of Recreation News copyeditor Sean and I, we hike. There’s nothing more invigorating to us than a long afternoon in the woods, especially if it provides a new challenge. When we return from a hike, there’s an obvious shift in our moods, and the mundane day-to-day that’s ahead doesn’t seem as mundane anymore.

So, Recreation News readers — your challenge this month is to celebrate the month of February with play. Get out there, and #LivePlayDo.

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