Get Out and Experience!!

When we get closer to nature - be it untouched wilderness, beautiful mountain scenes or

glorious sunsets over the beach - we are undertaking an act of great self-care that benefits

our physical and mental health.





The problem with a hectic modern lifestyle

There’s no denying that life is stressful right now. Stuck at home for hours in front of

screens, with ongoing restrictions, lockdown and isolation is not good for anyone’s mental or

physical health.


The problem with our modern way of life is that our body gets forgotten and our mind takes

over. What we don’t realize is that our mind is totally dependent on our body, and if we fail

to prioritize our physical health it can quickly take its toll on our mental health. A fit and

healthy body very often equates to a fit and healthy mind.


When the mind takes over and becomes disconnected from the body, we can get stuck in a

pattern of not moving and living a sedentary lifestyle. The longer we stay in that pattern of

not moving, the harder it is to get the motivation to move again. This vicious cycle repeats

itself over and over until we build up the strength to break the pattern which can be

incredibly difficult if we are feeling down or depressed.


One easy and accessible way to break this pattern is to reconnect with the earth by going

Outdoors.


The health benefits of the great outdoors

Even during lockdowns, people have the freedom to go outdoors. Often the challenge is that

we don’t feel like it, particularly if we are stuck in the pattern of not moving.

Getting out in the great outdoors for as little as just 5 minutes a day has been shown to be

all you need to quickly improve your mood (1).


Exposure to sunlight, fresh air and movement significantly impact on our wellbeing. Sunlight

itself offers a rich plethora of health benefits including stimulation of Vitamin D, a potent

antioxidant that is essential for a health circulatory and nervous system. Not only does it

boost endorphins which are those amazing ‘feel good’ chemicals that we can produce

naturally, but it also stimulates the production of the hormone serotonin which helps us feel

calm, happy and focused and stabilizes our mood.


Many people struggle with sleep patterns during times of stress. The good news is that

exposure to sunlight stimulates the production of melatonin which is essential for the

regulation of our circadian rhythm. A good night’s sleep can make all the difference not only

to our mental health but is necessary a healthy functioning immune system which is of

particular importance to the entire global population during the coronavirus pandemic.

Supporting your immune system should be top of your list of New Year’s resolutions!


The perfect antidote to stress

We live in a world full of natural beauty. With sights to behold and new terrain to explore

there’s almost always a new corner of the earth that you can explore if you get curious and

try a new path.


New research carried out in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic found that experiencing new

things on a daily basis led to more positive emotions every day (2).

Even “travelling” to new places within your own town is shown to have positive benefits on

your mood.


Finding a way to bring excitement and new experiences into your everyday life can bring

that real zest and enjoyment of life, the spark that lights you up and adds spice to your life.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker or someone who prefers to take their time mindfully

enjoying nature, there is something for everyone in the great outdoors if you know how to

find it.


Finding an outdoor activity

Here are our top tips for finding an outdoor activity that suits you:


1) Make a list of nature experiences in your hometown and plan time in to go and visit

them. Even if you live in a city you can often find nature parks, bike paths or river

walks that get you a bit closer to nature


2) Pick an activity outdoors that suits your fitness level. There are no age restrictions to

taking up an outdoor activity so whether you feel like walking, running or cycling is

for you, pick something that you feel comfortable doing and that brings you joy.

Cycling is a good activity for all age groups and often takes us back to a younger,

more playful time where we were able to enjoy the journey and adventure of going

on a bike ride.


3) Give yourself a challenge. Setting a challenge like running 5k or cycling from one

town to the next can give you something to focus on, a purpose for your outdoor

activity. Achieving a new goal has an incredibly positive impact on your self-esteem

and mental health.


4) Make a commitment to yourself to go outside for at least 5 minutes a day. Start

small if that’s what you need right now and work up to spending 30 minutes out in

nature each day. Your body and mind will thank you for it.


Spending time outdoors will help you combat the stresses and anxieties of our hectic

modern lives, and anything that we can do to take care of our health and wellbeing is an act

of great self-care and self-love.


At the end of the day, we come out in nature not because the science says that it's good for

us, but because of how it makes us feel inside.


1) Journal of Positive Psychology, 2019,

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760.2018.1557242?journalCode=

rpos20&

2) Nature Neuroscience, 2020 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-020-0636-

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