Do you jump for joy at spending more time outdoors in the summer? I certainly do! While our tough midwestern skin may get “used to” harsh Minnesota winters, I know I’m not the only one that doesn’t get outside enough in single digits. Keep reading to learn the benefits of the great outdoors and even some ways to sneak in these elements all year round.
Natural vitamin and mood boosts
Did you know that your body can produce vitamin D when exposed to just 15 minutes of sun? Let that sun simmer on your skin (but don’t forget your sunscreen and hat) Many people report a mood boost from the sunshine.
Connection to earth, ourselves and more
When we step outdoors, it very quickly becomes easier to connect with yourself and the present moment and to take in the natural beauty. From enjoying watching and hearing the birds fly by, to spotting and smelling a new flower blooming, to even hearing your neighbor mowing his lawn—we can feel a connection to self and to others, and even a spiritual connection when outdoors. It’s a great way to practice mindfulness in just a few minutes.
Increased creativity and connection to play
When outside, we are more likely to tap into our creative centers. Spot a piece of chalk? Let’s draw. Find a trail? Take a hike! See a creek? Dip your toes in. Allow yourself to just gaze on your patio and daydream. We can more easily connect with our inner childlike selves—because who needs to be a grown-up all the time?
Ways I’ll get outside this summer
- Outdoor reiki sessions with Marie Neher (marieneher.com)
- Local park visits with our son, Hank—we love Castle Park
- Morning coffee outside on Saturdays
- Date nights with hubby on outdoor patios—Hot Chip and Whistle Binkies are a must
- Business meetings with friends inside the beautiful greenhouse of Café Aqui,at Sargent’s on 2nd
Grab a blanket, your coffee or tea, and a good book (or Rochester Woman Magazine!) and go enjoy some time outdoors this summer! ::
Pro tips for bringing nature to you on days you’re stuck inside
- Open the window and sit by the natural light
- Keep plants in your office and throughout your house
- Use essential oils to bring the outdoors in—think eucalyptus, lavender or pine
- Try nature-based guided imagery videos—you’ll be amazed how “real” it can feel closing your eyes and imagining being on the river or at the park