I used to play outside every day as a kid until something called video games took over my life towards the end of elementary school. I remember my mom used to tell me to go play outside and I would just sit in a lawn chair at the end of our driveway and play Pokemon on my DS. I don’t think that what she had in mind.
But somehow I went from begging to go outside to being forced to do something out of the house.
I never noticed how little time I actually spend outdoors until I’m actually outside and asking myself why I don’t do this more often. Sometimes we all have those days when it’s a struggle to get out of bed, let alone get out of the house, so I rounded up some incentive to get you out in nature.
1. Gotta get that Vitamin D, right?
While yes, you can get vitamins D from food sources, it’s easier to get the amounts you need from just a little bit of daily sunshine. Just don’t forget to wear your sunscreen! Even if it’s cloudy outside.
2. It helps to calm the mind.
So this may just be a me thing, but being outside helps to clear and soothe my mind. This can be especially helpful if you’re stressed, feeling down or just have a lot of things running through your head. I think what helps me most is thinking about how big this earth is, and realizing how small I am in turn. This helps me come to terms with my problems because if I’m small, then my problems have to be even smaller because they are only a fraction of me. Realizing how small and significant my problems actually are makes it a whole lot easier to deal with them or just let them go.
3. It gets you off your phone.
You have to admit that we all get too caught up in what other people are doing that we don’t do anything ourselves. We spend so much time scrolling through feeds that we could be using to do something a little bit more productive or good for you. Set aside your phone for 10 minutes and just sit outside and breathe in that fresh air. Or better yet, watch the sunset (yes you have permission to take photos) to keep you off your phone before bed so that it’s easier for you to fall asleep.
4. It can provide inspiration or motivation.
Great things have always come from me spending time outdoors. I’ve found inspiration in the strangest of things and learned life lessons from things that can’t speak. (Mostly because I like to deeply analyze everything like life is an AP Literature test.)
Being in nature can really help to boost your creative side as well. If you’re feeling stuck on a project or just want ideas for new art or writing, then try and get yourself outside more often. It’s also a great place to journal or read because you are in a more open space than if you were inside, which allows your thoughts to wander more freely.
5. It makes you happy.
Duh, this one is a no-brainer. But really, stop and think about this one. How does being outside, rather than cooped up in your house for hours on end make you feel? Freeing right? When I spend a whole 24 hours without going outside I feel like I’m going to go insane. Something as little as just taking the garbage out, or walking to my car or driving with the windows down makes me feel less restrained and keeps me from going crazy.
Life is such a hectic blur these days. We’re always keeping ourselves busy and not allowing any time for rest, so spending a few spare moments just standing outside of your car before going back into your house can make all the difference.
6. It’s nostalgic.
Remember days when you played outside as a kid? Same, and I miss those days too. But they don’t have to be gone. Who says you have to stop playing like a kid even when you aren’t one anymore?
Go run through the sprinkler, have a water balloon fight, play with chalk, go swinging, jump rope, hula hoop — do whatever you want.
Or you could go exploring but for real this time. As kids, all the exploring we could do was in our heads. It might have magically come to life in front of us, but we all know it wasn’t real. Now we have the freedom to actually explore the world and find things that make our inner child come to life.
So get out there and explore, because you never know what you’ll find.
How do you like to spend your time outside?