We know that going outside is good for us, but sometimes staying inside is so much easier. We need “easier” because we’re stressed. But going outside will help us de-stress. It’s a conundrum. If even thinking about fitting in some extra outdoor time gives you anxiety, don’t worry. We have some ideas for you. Here are 7 of the best tips to help you engage in some fresh-air self-care.
1. Open those Windows
If the weather is even remotely nice outside, open a window. Shutting off the A/C and letting the natural breezes blow through your home will help clear out indoor pollutants and carbon dioxide, which naturally builds up in our homes from some appliances and our own breathing. If you have ever felt like the air in a crowded room was stuffy, that was probably because of the build-up of C02 in the air. Just opening a window can improve your mood and help you breathe easier.
2. Take a Walk Around the Block
Just one. So many people work from home these days, which makes it even harder to get up and move around. Taking a quick walk around the block every hour or so will make you feel more alert when you return to whatever you were doing. You might think that just walking around the block won’t do much but try it. It’s refreshing. And who knows? It might lead you to walking outside even more.
3. Park Far Away
When you drive somewhere, don’t waste time vying for close-up parking spots. Park at the back of the lot, or at least further away than you normally would, and take a few deep breaths before you run into the grocery store or the pharmacy, or any of the million places you need to go this week. Those extra 30 seconds are a gift you can give to yourself to let go of some of your stress. Watch out for cars, though.
4. Walk or Bike
If you have an errand to run that is close, just walk there. So often we feel like everything we do, even our self-care, needs to also be productive. Our society encourages us to multi-task constantly. If multi-tasking makes taking care of yourself easier, then do it. Walk to pick up take-out. Walk to meet your friends for coffee. Bike to the grocery store with a backpack when you just need a couple of items to make dinner. You will enjoy the next thing you do all the more because you breathed some fresh air.
5. Plant Flowers
Plant some flowers or a small garden. This will help you spend more time outside because your space will be prettier, and you will have to water the plants. It might seem silly to trick yourself into going outside, but when it’s hot out in the summer, and all you want to do is stay in the air conditioning, you’ll want to keep your pretty flowers happy or see those tomatoes grow. Sometimes our overriding impulse to take care of others helps us take care of ourselves.
6. Take a Hike or a Bike Ride
Take a hike or a bike ride. Depending on your current level of busyness or stress, this might feel like a large commitment. That’s ok. Try it anyway. Find a nice nature-y spot near home, preferably near some water. Then, walk, for at least 20 minutes. You can do this alone or with a friend, but please, put the cell phone away. Be in nature. Scientists tell us this is good for our mental health. You can take some food or beverages and make it into a picnic. Superberries Aronia berry Gummy Chews make a low-stress, high-value, portable, delicious snack.
7. Sit Outside
If going out and doing something feels like a lot, start slow. In the morning, before you start your day, with your coffee or tea or smoothie, sit outside. In the afternoon with a delicious Superberries Aronia berry lemonade or iced tea or in the evening with an Aronia berry mocktail, sit outside. If you have a deck with a patio or table, sit there. If you have a front porch, sit there. If all you have is a set of stairs, put a potted plant out there and sit there. You deserve a break and taking a few steps outside to have a bit of rest and breathe in fresh air can make all the difference.
You are your most precious resource, so it’s important to take care of you. We are so conditioned to give of ourselves to others that we forget to give to ourselves. Going outside and breathing in the fresh air is an easy ritual to help remind yourself of your value. So, take a moment, and take a breath.