Boost Your Mental Health by Spending Time Outdoors
Spending more time outdoors is one of the best things that we can do to improve our mental health. For me, the connection between mental health and nature is so clear. If you haven’t discovered it yet, it’s time to spend more time outside and see how can benefit your well-being too.
- Benefits of spending time outdoors
Time in nature has lots of benefits for our physical and mental health. We can enjoy better breathing, improved sleep, lower our risk of depression and anxiety, a stronger immune system, and reduced stress levels, to mention just a few of the many benefits. Heading outdoors for a break, for movement or to simply enjoy the fresh air and the surroundings can work wonders for our mental health. It calms us and soothes us and removes us from the daily stressors of our modern lives.
- How to spend more time outdoors
Life is busy. How am I supposed to fit in spending time outdoors more often, you might be wondering. We make lots of decisions on a daily basis and we prioritise what we want to do each day and what we think is important to spend our time on. Mental health should be a priority in life so making time for doing things that are good for our mental well-being should make it onto the daily list. I love big days out with long hikes in beautiful locations (The Peak District and The Lake District, for example), but I can’t do that every day, every week, or even every month. I save those bigger outings in nature for when they are doable and go for smaller doses of nature in my daily life instead.
If you live near nature, you can go for local walks as part of your daily routine. This can simply be taking a longer route on your way home for example or choosing to go for a walk because you enjoy it and it’s good for you. If you are further from nature, I’m sure there are still areas of greenery like parks or avenues that you can enjoy walking through. Spending time in your own garden, a garden area at work or even visiting an outdoor garden centre can also provide that connection with nature.
Even if you can’t get to green spaces every day, just going outside for a walk around your neighbourhood will also offer plenty of benefits. Start with that as your daily dose of the outdoors, then visit more scenic places when you can for that extra boost and calm that the beautiful views can give you.