If you’re feeling a bit couped up, anxious and stressed from the pandemic, you are not alone, we hear you! Everyone is feeling a bit, well, BLEH! The turn of the season from a very warm summer to autumn is the perfect time to maximize your time outside and get out of the house! We know it’s easier said than done, so we’ve come up with some tips on how to make the most out of your outdoor time in the open air and the sunshine!
Find a spot that bears blue
There really is a change in your mind and body as soon as you step outside after being indoors for long periods of time. For some people (us included), the second our bare feet hit the white beach sands in front of a beautiful bay, river, or ocean, we immediately feel relaxed and calmer as our shoulders drop and our mind stops wandering.
We aren’t just saying this, it’s actually been studied and apotheosized that people can experience the benefits of the water just by hearing the soothing sounds of water! In Wallace Nichols' book ‘Blue Mind’ he states you don’t have to travel far in search of a dreamy waterfall or a bubbling brook, but the sounds of water trickling through a fountain is enough to bring you to a new level of relaxation.
Find yourself a peaceful setting by the water, and when you’re there, be sure to stop for a second, close your eyes, and let your mind rest.
Turn out the lights and find the sun
Ditch the harsh fluro and LED lights for nature's best – the sun. Being outside and soaking up the sunshine gives you a healthy dose of vitamin D, essential for a well-functioning body. Your mood lifts and your energy levels increase too, so the saying ‘fun in the sun’ definitely has merit here! Just a short burst of 10-15 minutes outdoors can do your body and your mind absolute wonders!
Some suggest that getting outdoors can help to ‘reset’ your circadian rhythm (internal body clock), putting you back on track to a more natural sleeping pattern. The difference in brightness between indoor and outdoor environments is not always obvious but spending more time outdoors and close to natural sunlight is sure to help with the pent-up feeling caused by spending too much time inside. Sometimes you might not even realize it, but your mind and body do!
Breathe in and out at the park
Finding somewhere to relax in the open air is a great way to lower your blood pressure, especially after a stressful day at work or at home with the kids. Indoor environments tend to make your heart beat faster and work harder, so it’s important to be mindful to get outside as much as you can throughout your busy day. Find a quiet garden or park that you like, and take a moment to just sit. Take a book with you, listen to a podcast, people watch, or simply just sit and digest the day, all while taking deep breaths. If meditation or breathwork is your thing – we highly recommend doing this in a park environment!
Nature’s calming effect doesn’t only come from the fresh air, but also the ground. Some say there are good bacteria in soil that releases brain chemicals that improve function and mood! Who knew the soil could be an antidepressant!
Anywhere that will fit a blanket and a picnic!
Getting outdoors for a bit of R&R is certainly high on anyone’s list, but sometimes you just can’t do it alone, there are littles in tow. Make the most of sun and the outdoors by packing a picnic blanket and hamper of delicious treats – pieces of fruit, muffins, crackers and cheese. A football or frisbee will keep them on their toes and will give you enough time to take a few breaths, soak in the sun and find contentment in the outdoors.