If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll know that I’m a huge advocate for spending more time outside. Like so many people in the world, I’ve experienced the immense healing properties of nature.
I really think this is actually one wellness hack that will legitimately help EVERYONE across the board. I don’t say this lightly, because- truth be told- I don’t love blanket statements. Especially in the health and wellness space. Our needs, genetic make ups, personalities, mental health, so on and so forth- are incredibly diverse. Which means that, oftentimes, when we read blogs or see Instagram posts about the health and wellness tip of the day- it might not necessarily support you in the same way that it does for someone else.
However, when it comes to spending more time outside- I really do think this can help the masses. Regardless of your background, where you live, your work schedule, WHATEVER- spending more time outside is healthy. Period.
There is a certain clarity that we can achieve in nature that is simply unavailable within the shelter of all the little boxes we spend time in. And, look, I’m not saying that these indoor spaces are bad by any means. They protect us from the elements, they allow us to live beyond the confines of sunlight, and they keep us safe in many regards. So, no, these spaces aren’t bad.
I do, however, think we can strike a stronger balance between our time inside, and our time spent outside. The question is…how? How can we spend more time outside when we sleep inside, we work out in a gym, we go to the office for our jobs, and then happy hour with colleagues at a local bar, just to go home, fall asleep, and do it all over again.
Don’t worry, I got you covered. This post will share 4 key tips to help you spend more time outside throughout your day in an effort to improve your overall health and wellness.
4 Tips On How To Spend More Time Outside
The most important thing to remember here is that spending more time outside is meant to decrease stress in your life, rather than increase it. That means, if you’re starting to stress because you’re not hitting all 4 points, then it’s best to pause. Take a beat. And start again the next day.
Remember going outside doesn’t necessarily have to mean you’re venturing into the great outdoors with a backpack on and hiking boots. Spending time outdoors can simply mean spending more time in green spaces like curated natural settings in city parks, or taking a stroll around the block for your physical health.
Getting outside more is a great way to boost vitamin D levels by spending time in the sun. Spending time in nature is also one of the best ways to reduce stress levels. Sounds too easy to be true, right? But, hey, if you don’t believe me….you can just try for yourself! The health benefits (both physically and mentally) are incredible.
Let’s just say, your immune system will thank you.
I am all about the hot girl walk trend that took off last year. I go for walks daily. Multiple times a day, in fact. The truth is, it’s a lot easier to incorporate walks into your schedule when you have dogs (like I do), because they literally need to go outside regularly.
If you don’t have a dog, no worries. Just imagine that you’re the animal you need to walk. Sounds silly, I know. But for real, we need it just as much as they do. No, we don’t need to go outside to go to the bathroom, but we do need fresh air, movement, and natural light.
I like to wake up and get physical activity outside first thing in the morning, mostly because I live in hot places, and this ensures it’s not too hot later on. But also, because this is my morning movement, and my time in natural light. And the morning is when my activity levels are highest.
It’s my time to just be with myself, and my thoughts, to plan my classes, to pray, to manifest…the list goes on and on. I cherish this time outside first thing in the morning, as it’s incredibly peaceful. It’s like the whole world hasn’t woken up yet.
If you’re not an early bird like I am, then you can try to incorporate walking throughout your day in between moments, instead. Maybe your work is walking distance. Or perhaps you walk to the bus stop, instead of Uber there. Can you walk to the restaurant after work, instead of driving? Start to notice small moments in your day where you’d otherwise be inside of a vehicle, and notice if you can swap it with walking, instead.
Like I said, I love to wake up, and get outside right away. Something about this just charges me right up. There’s also a benefit to our eyes seeing natural light first thing in the morning (as opposed to screens) to kick start our circadian rhythm.
I’d love it if you paired your walk with morning light. But if you’re more of a slow mover in the morning, then you can also just sit outside to drink your coffee or tea. You can sit outside to journal, or do your morning meditation. Whether you have a backyard, a small patio, or a shared outdoor space with your apartment building- spending a few minutes outside in the natural light is truly one of the best ways to start the day.
I know what you’re thinking, and- yes- this is weather dependent, of course! If it’s snowing or raining, I’m not suggesting you sit outside and get soaked. A great alternative when weather is getting in the way, is to just sit next to an open window. No, you’re not completely outside, but opening the window to get fresh air and natural light while being protected is a very happy medium.
Work outside…this is crazy! And, yes, at first glance, it kind of is. This, of course, really depends on your work environment, rules of your office, or boundaries of your boss. But, for the most part, we can all afford to work at least a BIT outside.
This doesn’t mean you need to set up an outdoor office, and spend 8 hours a day out there. What I’d rather you do is notice the times in your day that you’re furiously typing away on your phone for emails, content creation, or your general workflow. The great thing about phones is that they’re small, handheld devices that are PORTABLE. That means you can take it with you ANYWHERE. Shocker, I know.
Instead of planning your next social media post on your couch, sit outside in a comfy chair or hammock. I’m all about hammock life for comfort. Highly recommend it. Even if it’s just 10 minutes here or there to respond to messages or emails, these little bits WILL add up. And your body will say thank you every time it’s outside of the comfortable little box that is your office or home.
One of the greatest gifts from the Covid era was that it got people outside more than ever. Which is weird, because we were also ordered to stay INSIDE. But also, once things started to open up, we were encouraged to socialize outside, or could only sit in the outdoor sections of restaurants and bars.
Let’s take that one positive attribute of a very trying time, and carry it into our current day, shall we? Next time you get invited to dinner or drinks after work, sit in the outdoor section! Or ask your friends to join you in an outdoor yoga class, instead of one at a studio. Perhaps you combine socializing with walking, and invite a friend on your morning walk with you.
There are so many outdoor activities for people with or without kids, single, or in a relationship. Whether you’re more extreme, and go on a friend date down a black diamond at the ski slopes. Or you’re more chill, and reserve outdoor seats at your favorite restaurant- there truly is an option for everyone.
From concerts, and hiking, to spas and group fitness classes- check out what’s available in your community. This is also a great way to broaden your horizons beyond your cozy comfy comfort zone, and experience your town or city in a whole new way. Plus, you’ll reap all of the beautiful benefits of spending time outside.
There you have it, my friends. You’re ready to spend more time outside throughout your day with these simple tips and tricks. I can’t wait to hear how it goes.
I hope it makes you feel nothing short of absolutely amazing.
For more wellness tips, check out my interview with my wife on improving your financial health and wellness.