The term “cabin fever” is for real. Think of the dead of winter being stuck indoors, germs spreading, air feels heavy and you put on weight. Then the snow starts to melt, the days become fresh, sunny and light and you feel like a different person. Why do you think that is?
Once warmer weather hits we’re more likely to head outdoors. Without a doubt, that does something to your spirit. Whatever slump you’re in just being outside for even a few minutes most definitely does something to cheer you up. Rather than turning to food or alcohol, or slumping on the couch, go for a walk, sit outside or garden. The cure for a bad mood is being outside regardless of the activity. We all know that if we’re having a bad day that any time spent away from a bad situation is good for your health, but the benefits increase if that time is spent outside. It appears that even a minimum amount of time, say five minutes, spent outdoors has benefits. Think back to when you’ve gone outside and you felt the heat from the sun on your skin. No doubt it’s a definite pick-me-up.
It’s unfortunate that many of us spend time indoors under fluorescent lights only to return home to bask in TV and computer screens. Our lives demand this indoor time, but we can carve out time to be outdoors and reap the benefits even if it’s for a few minutes. We truly need to spend time in natural environments to improve physical and mental health. In addition, if you grab a friend you are providing yourself and a friend the opportunity to bond. However, don’t let time spent alone be a deterrent to getting outside.
Sometimes we can’t hit nature trails, but even walking in your neighborhood is helpful. The bottom line is to not let your mobility or access limit your time outdoors. Additional benefits to time spent outdoors includes:
- increase short-term memory
- reduce inflammation
- reduce fatigue
- decrease depression, anxiety and stress
- increase good mood
- lower blood pressure
- improve ability to focus
- improve creativity
- boost immune system
- improve quality of life
When outside, even if it’s a concrete jungle, we can’t help but relax and we become more aware of sounds, sights and smells. We awaken our physical body so to speak with movement or just allowing the experience to awaken us. The physical body provides stability and foundation. The pleasure of being outside allows the energy body to awaken as well and when these layers are in balance we feel at peace.
All these reasons seem pretty good to me to get out. You don’t have to go for a walk if you don’t feel like it. Just sit outside, chill, breathe and take time for yourself and express gratitude, which are excellent for emotional, physical and mental well being.