Our relationship to the world has been proven to impact wellness and wellbeing. Spending time outside has more benefits than just on our physical body. It can decrease stress, help with overall mental health, and maybe even strengthen our sense of connection to others.
Spending time outside has been shown to reduce stress, which in turn improves concentration. This will help with overall productivity during the day. Getting outside increases energy and vitality, and there are so many different ways of enjoying the time outdoors. Here are a few:
Of course, don’t forget the SPF! If looking for a more relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors, this is more your jam. Whether outside reading a book, at the beach, or poolside, enjoying the sun for 1-2 hours will increase vitamin D and overall mood. Need to be more active? Go for a swim OR enjoy reading with alternating bouts of walking in your backyard/around the block. Just because it is so important, I will say it again: DO NOT forget the SPF. Ideally, 50 SPF for your body and 70 for face!
Forest bathing is taking the time out to immerse yourself in a forest environment. It has been shown to improve cardiovascular, metabolic, and immune system functions. It has also been shown to help with depression and anxiety. One study even showed that those who forest bathe, have been shown to have decreased cortisol levels.
There are also long-term benefits shown as well: decreased hypertension, improved resting heart rate, and increased quality of life.
Never fret if you do not live in the countryside. Time spent enjoying green spaces in a park or even short getaways can make the same impact. Even laying in the park and gazing up at the sky and trees have been shown to elevate mood, reduce blood pressure, and slow the respiratory rate.
Plant a Tree/ Grow a Plant:
Running not appealing to you? You can still find a connection to the outdoors! Whether growing vegetables, plants, trees, or flowers, growing something has been shown to increase overall wellbeing.
Tending a garden does not just foster more of a connection with nature, but can give a sense of achievement and appreciation of the beauty of the garden itself. Gardening has been shown to reduce depression and boost overall mental health.
No access to outdoor space? Grow something inside or get a window garden! This has been shown to boost overall satisfaction, improve creativity, and even help those with PTSD symptoms.
There are so many beautiful things our planet can bring into our lives. Get outside and take the time to experience them! Connecting to the natural world can give us the sense that we are part of the greater whole! This will elevate our mood, improve our outlook on life, and increase our overall wellbeing.