The power of the outdoors

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The view from our deck in the White Mountains (Photo credit: me)

As the summer goes on, I’m realizing how much I need to be in nature and fresh air and how much it makes a difference in how I feel. We just got back from a weekend away in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the view from the house we stayed at was amazing. It’s powerful to be outside and it helps me to reset and refocus when life gets hectic. 

We can’t always drive two and a half hours north for this reset to happen, so what can we do? We have a great backyard and sometimes just sitting on our deck for a few minutes can help me. Sitting by a body of water, whether it’s the ocean or the harbor, helps. A hike can do wonders for my mood. Even going for a walk on my lunch break—despite the fact that I work in a busy office park—can help me regroup during the day. 

If you Google the benefits of nature and fresh air, I know you’ll find a million resources about the benefits. I’m not going to cite them all. It’s proven that nature and fresh air are good for anxiety and stress. I was listening to a podcast the other day and the host mentioned that he heard of a study done in Japan that showed that just looking at images of nature were beneficial. It’s easy to forget to appreciate the power of fresh air and nature when your calendar is full and your to-do list is extra long. But before we know it here in New England, it’s going to be cold and there will be snow on the ground and plenty of days where we’ll all want to stay inside. So I have to take advantage of the nice weather while we have it. I know even the cold air can be beneficial—and sometimes it is for me—but I hate the cold more and more as I get older and I gravitate towards staying in because of it. 

So get outside however you can. Open your mind to the fact that it could help. Get a little sun on your face and appreciate the beauty that Mother Nature can give us and I’m willing to bet your mood will improve a little no matter what you have going on right now. 

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