Staying indoors all day can often make us tired and bored, and especially in the nicer, warm weather, it's a shame to have to sit at the office all day and stare at a screen. Getting outdoors and connecting with nature is great for the mind and body, as fresh air can make us feel happier and calmer and ready to tackle the day ahead.
As a certified health coach, I encourage my clients to get outdoors and embrace the sunshine and trees each day. Even if you live in a big, bustling city, taking a moment to sit on a park bench or walk into a floral shop can do the trick. Taking a walk and getting a gust of fresh air is great for the lungs, and it can make us feel less stressed and more connected to the world. Spending hours indoors at work can be draining on the mind and can lead us to be less productive and dissatisfied during the day. By sneaking in better ways to find spurts of nature and fresh air throughout the work day, we are better able to boost motivation and energy when back at the office and feel happier and less anxious overall. Here are eleven easy ways to slip in more time in the sunshine each day.
1. Run Outside
Starting the morning off with a run can make us feel less stressed and in a better mood for the day ahead. The rush of endorphins reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, and boost happy, feel good hormones to make us more productive and creative at work. Running mid-day is a great way to get a boost of energy during an afternoon slump, as well. Head out on your lunch break for a short run and bring those benefits back to the office.
2. Take Work Meetings Outdoors
Who needs the standard cubicle or conference room meeting? Invite your co-workers to a lunch or drink meeting outdoors, instead. Especially in the summer, there are tons of rooftop spots that can provide both fresh air and quality food and ambience. "Rooftops are great for out-of-office meetings with co-workers and friends," says Production Manager, Sarah Petty, at ROOF on theWit based in Chicago. "Staying indoors at work all day can make you tired, so taking a lunch break or meeting outside can help rejuvenate the mind for the rest of the day ahead," she adds.
3. Bike Or Walk To Work
Ditch the car or subway for either a walk or bike ride for your daily commute to and from the office. Not only will this add more activity to your day, which can be beneficial for your health and wellbeing over time, but it will also allow you to start and end work with a fresh breath of air, a stable source of energy, and a positive outlook.
4. Open Your Windows
If you're fortunate to have access to a window at work, open it to let some fresh air in during the day. Take a moment to be mindful and reflect, even. Stare outdoors and look at the world around you. Feel good about where you are in life, in that given moment, and feel grateful that you get to enjoy every bit of it. To go further, take a few deep breaths and generously take in the purity of the fresh air.
5. Plant A Garden
Whether you have access to a lot of land or a small terrace in a crowded city, there's enough room to plant a few flowers, herbs, tomatoes and berries (or whatever you desire!). According to experts, gardening is extremely relaxing and can reduce stress, and so it makes for a terrific hobby outside of work. Plus, you can eat your creations, helping you save money on your grocery bills and nourish your bellies with healthy, nutritious foods.
6. Have A Picnic
Taking your lunch or dinner outdoors can be a great way to plan your meals and even encourage social connections. Gather friends or co-workers for a picnic in the park, or if you have access to a terrace or outdoor patio or garden at home, set up a few tables and chairs and bring your meal outdoors. Just be careful with bugs! Investing in some Raid or bug spray might be wise.
7. Walk Your Dog
If you have a pet, take your little (or big) friend for a walk. You can even play frisbee in the dog park and add in a touch of exercise for both of you. Being with animals can make us happier on its own, so playing with them outside in the fresh air can provide even greater health benefits. Just make sure to bring a paper towel to clean up; sometimes your dog's just gotta go. No dog? Head to an animal shelter or head outdoors with a friend's.
8. Create An Instagram Account
Documenting beautiful images, particularly those outdoors, can be a fun hobby and a great excuse to get outdoors. Capture shots of the city you are in, the birds in a park, a beautiful sunset, or #foodporn from various eateries in your town. By committing to building a following and getting more fresh air in the day, you'll be more likely to stick with your goals and take new adventures.
9. Take Some "Me Time" Outdoors
Head to a nearby park or beach, or simply just sit outside on a terrace or rooftop for a moment to be by yourself and de-stress. Take this time to meditate, do deep breathing exercises, try some yoga, read a book or listen to a soothing playlist. Whatever makes you feel comforted and happy will be perfect for re-centering yourself and getting in that replenished source of energy and alertness.
10. Space Out Errands
Instead of doing the drugstore, grocery store, bank and laundromat all in one shot (and in a car, to make matters worse!), space them out throughout the week so that you have an excuse, or rather opportunity, to take a walk and get some additional fresh air in the day. Plus, then you also won't spend so much time indoors for all of these errands in one day! Take a short trip for groceries two or three times a week, head to the drugstore once a week, and figure out how to go about laundry based on your needs. Tailor your schedule to fit your preferences.
11. Pick An Outdoor Hobby
Choosing to join an outdoor sport league or group can both build new, potent relationships and allow you to get more fresh air during the day. Particularly in the summer, outdoor sports leagues, such as volleyball, soccer, kickball, basketball and baseball are rampant, as they are fun and encourage camaraderie to reduce stress and promote a sense of community. You can also join a running or cycling group, which often go year-round, as well.
No matter how you decide to get more fresh air during the day, the benefits are huge and can truly enhance your daily wellbeing and health. By getting in more time outdoors, we are likely to feel happier, more creative and productive, and more in love with life overall. Whether you embark upon an outdoor adventure solo or with a friend, make it a priority to do something to better your quality of life each day.
Images: Pixabay (12)