How to Make the Most of the Outdoors

January 29, 2018

in Lifestyle

 

We hear it everywhere: “Experience the great outdoors! Get outside! Be one with nature!” Sometimes, this is easier said than done. We work hard all week long and often, all we want to do is sit and put our feet up. Just for once! When we think about those great outdoors, some of us might disagree on just how great they really are. Sure, we appreciate trees and plants, we like to eat healthy and use biodegradable products, and we love animals, but bugs? No way. We often may think of camping first when we think about spending time outside, going on a hike, or strolling through the forest. However, let’s just take the term “outside” literally for a moment. It is simply not being in a building. That is never bad at all: fresh air, plants and trees, maybe a glimpse of an animal or two – depending on where we are – all spectacular entities. Essentially, we can take any hobby that we enjoy, and just do it outside

Our Need For Green

Seriously. Our bodies and mental wellbeing are scads healthier when we spend some time outside. Even looking at a patch of grass has been proven to have mood boosting effects. Walks through the park, watching trees from a bench, enjoying your lunch break on a grassy knoll help to ease stress levels and increase serotonin levels. Bustling cities have constant activity and stimuli that often becomes overwhelming. The incorporation of green spaces in urban areas promotes mental quieting and increased cognitive function. Spending time in nature and green spaces has also been shown to help with depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.

Make Time for Nature

Life is busy. We are constantly running about going to work, going to school, going to the gym, taking care of the family. By the end of the day, we are exhausted and stressed. However, it is important for us to take the time to get outside. Setting aside one day a week to make time for a hike or a stroll through the woods or park, visit your local national parks and learn about the local flora and fauna. These moments provide restorative effects on our mental well being and give us a sense of connectedness among ourselves and nature.

Support the Green

Many cities are adopting green policies, policies that are built on sustainability practices. A part of these policies are the building of green spaces and other environment promoting urban design practices. These can include a certain area of vegetation to be planted per square footage of a building or incorporating gardens into architecture or increasing the square footage of green spaces around the city. These increased planted areas take out carbon dioxide from the air, cleaning it, as well as help to filter ground water. Supporting these policies benefits not only the Earth, but also benefits us.

 
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Lindsey Renuard is a blogger, YouTube beauty expert, and the Managing Editor of the Skiatook Journal.

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