Summer may be coming but for those of us stuck in offices or with a million things to do around the house it can sometimes feel that taking time out of your day to walk or ride a bike is an unattainable luxury.
In actual fact, even just setting aside twenty minutes to spend time in nature can seriously improve not only your mood, but also your productivity – and here’s why:
1) An extra shot of Vitamin D – Exposure to the sun increases the body’s production of Vitamin D which not only aids healthy bones but also manages dopamine and serotonin levels – the hormones which make us feel happy. This is just one of the reasons that a quick walk outside (even if it’s not a sunny day) is an instant mood lift.
2) Change your perspective! It’s always helpful to take a different point of view of something and if you’ve been slogging away at the same thing for hours – giving your mind a rest will certainly help. Not only that, a dramatic change of environment (where you also feel relaxed) will make you much more open to inspiration and problem-solving.
3) Getting out in the day can even improve your night. Exposure to the sun in daylight hours can help sync the body’s circadian rhythms – aiding sleep and helping the body work better during wakeful hours.
4) A treat for all the senses. If you’re lucky to live or work near a park or forest then you know how beautiful it is, however don’t miss out on the restful sound of the birds singing (something that inherently calms us) or running water; or the natural scents of the fresh air, grass and trees. As you move through nature, try to be aware of how your environment is affecting all of your senses for a more immersive, mindful experience.
5) Change your child’s playground! All of the above benefits will obviously be relevant to young children, but for a child the great outdoors is not just a beautiful place to be – it is the ultimate playground. Let them have a shot of fresh air, Vitamin D, and as much exercise as they can handle and you might all see the benefits at bedtime!