Did you know that spending a little time in nature can clear your head and soothe your stressed-out soul? Experiencing these benefits can be as simple as taking a walk in the park or in your neighborhood. I don’t know about you, but when I need time to distress and unwind I go outside and go on a walk.  There is an endless list of benefits to getting outside more. In this post, I want to share some reasons why it is beneficial for us to get outside more and also some tips to help you get outside more!

It helps us connect with ourselves

“When we walk in nature, even just a local park, the emotional changes are immediate,” says Rue Mapp, founder of an organization that helps people get into natural spaces through activities like walking and hiking.  Mapp has noticed that after people spend time outdoors, they often use words like “gratitude,” “freedom,” “healing” and “connection” to express how they’re feeling.  

Getting outside helps us connect more with our inner self; our emotional self.  In a sense, it’s very freeing for our mind when we go outside in nature.  I also want to note that this idea of finding ourselves seems a bit new-age-ish and we need to be very careful that we don’t go outside to simply connect with our inner self and leave out God. God is the one who created the outdoors and we need to also connect with Him when we are out in nature.  But I think it’s no coincidence that being in God’s creation helps us connect with our inner self.  We are a part of God’s creation so what better way for us to learn about who we are than to be out in His creation.

It helps us find new inspiration

If you’ve ever been stuck it’s common knowledge that a change in view or perspective can help you get unstuck.  Sometimes getting outside is just what you need to boost your inspiration.  Studies have been done to show that getting outside shifts how we view time.  Being outside fills us with a sense of awe and it’s as if time slows down. This feeling of time being endless causes our creative mind to take off. This is why when we are outside it helps us get unstuck and de-stress.  A change of scenery is often all it takes to get your inspiration flowing again.

It’s healthy for us to unplug

Did you know that spending more time outside has an endless list of health benefits?  Going on a walk outside has the potential to boost your energy levels.  It can increase your brain function and memory as well.  When we take the time to get outside for a portion of our day it helps our body and brain to reset and refresh.  It’s kinda like how you sometimes need to restart your phone or computer to make it run better and faster.  When we get bogged down with media and the stresses of life spending time outside is how we can restore our mind back to its full potential.  According to the Journal of Environmental Psychology, it only takes twenty minutes outside each day to allow our brain to refresh itself.

And these are only a few of the many benefits we can have when we spend more time outside!  I hope all these reasons encourage you to get outside more, they sure encourage me to go outside more!

Tips to get outside more

Now that we know that getting outside is good for us, the hard part is finding ways to fit it into our schedule each day.  This can be tricky if you have a busy schedule, but including outside time in your day is something you won’t regret.  Here just a few tips to get you started:

  • Make it a priority.  If getting outside is something you want to be committed to doing, the first step is that you need to consciously make it a priority in your day.
  • Go on a walk every day.  A walk is an easy way to add outside time to your day.  Depending on how much time you have or what mood you’re in, it can be a short walk, a long walk, a slow walk, or a fast walk.  You choose.
  • Take your work outside.  If you work from home or have projects that you can do at home, consider taking your work outside.  Sit outside in the sun or go for a hike to a cozy secluded spot where you can work in peace.
  • Do your exercises outside.  There are so many great ways to exercise outside.  Whether is running, biking, or yoga.  Try doing it outside and giving yourself a refreshing change of scenery.
  • Skip public transportation.  If you live close enough that you could walk or bike to work, consider giving it a try.  This is a great way to fit in some outdoor time and exercise.
  • Plan your weekends outdoors.  There is no better way to unwind and spend your weekend than to be in the great outdoors.  Plan a camping trip with friends, go on a hike to a waterfall, or bike around town.

Now it’s your turn!

Here’s the fun part!  It’s your time to get outside!    As you go about your day and see if there are any new ways you can squeeze some outdoor time into your schedule. Just remember to be creative and have fun.

If you have any helpful tips or ideas for getting outside we’d love to hear them.  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.