Let Nature Boost Your Mood & Balance Your ‘Tude

Summer is in full swing, which means napping at the beach, grillin’ & chillin’, outdoor shows/games/dance parties, and eating ALL the watermelon!

These long, sunny days encourage more rest and relaxation which is exactly what you’ve been doing, right?

Oh wait, not so much?

Do you actually feel even more stressed out?

You’re not the only one, hon!

The day-to-day stressors of life (work, family, relationships, your commute, fill in the blank) don’t pause just because the ice cream truck is jingle jangling.

Good news alert: even 10 minutes a day of outdoor time will help reduce that anxiety and give a major boost to your mental and emotional health.

This week I’m giving everyone a challenge. Get ready to step it up and take it outside!

That’s right. Put down the phone, step away from your computer, and lace up those fresh kicks.

SOUL STROLL

This challenge is for you if you’re someone who sits for most of your day, especially at a desk, gazing lovingly at your computer. Pick a time each day that will realistically work for your schedule and set your phone alarm for at least 10 minutes.

Your challenge is to walk around for 10 minutes, without looking at your phone, focusing strictly on nature. You’ve got this!

Perhaps this will work perfectly on your lunch break, or maybe getting off the subway a stop earlier is the way to go, or walking around your hood after dinner. There’s not a right or wrong way to do this, as long as you do it!

If you live in a loud, busy city with visual stimulation at every turn, check out your neighborhood with fresh eyes. Look up and notice the trees and clouds in the sky. Look down and see all the flowers that you had previously walked by a thousand times.

If your soul stroll includes walking by a park or outdoor plant nursery, you get extra credit! Take in the different shades of green. Stop and smell the roses, literally. Instagram will still be there in 10 minutes.

Studies show that interacting with nature boosts creativity, improves focus, and decreases stress and anxiety.

It’s no coincidence that we all have peaceful vacay photos as our desktop wallpaper or on our cell phone home screens.

GET GROUNDED

If you’re feeling totally out of balance, majorly disconnected, or just generally out of sorts and not like yourself, this challenge is calling your name.

Again, set your phone for at least 10 minutes, and then promptly put it to the side. Sit down in the grass, any way that feels comfy, and just rest quietly.

You may want to close your eyes and focus on the sounds around you and the feeling of the grass beneath you. Or try eyes open and gaze around at the surrounding plants, taking in all the different colors.

I can hear some of you saying that you’re too busy to just sit in the grass! That’s just your anxious brain talking.

Think of all the things we do for far longer than 10 minutes every day that aren’t vital to our lives. There’s nothing more important than your health, and you can absolutely dedicate 10 minutes towards your health and happiness. And if you really can’t, please reach out to me.

Being outside in nature not only boosts your mood and calms your nerves, but also allows your body to naturally produce Vitamin D from sun exposure.

We know that Vitamin D is vital for strong bones and teeth, but it’s also great for lowering blood pressure. That’s right, getting sun kissed will actually chill you the ef out.

If you try this grounding challenge, you’ll get extra credit for taking off your shoes and putting your feet in the grass. Yes, I realize that this one might be tricky for the big city peeps, but let loose!

Many years ago, one of my amazing wellness mentors give me this exact challenge. Putting my feet in the grass (and sometimes even the dirt) was a grounding force. If you’re a beach babe, the sand counts too!

Try one or both of these outdoor challenges and let me know what comes up for you. Holler at me in the comments!

If you’re new here and want to get in on the fun, 

As always, if you have any questions or need some coaching support, please get in touch here.

 

*Watercolor frames by Victoria D'Esposito*