Feeling down and don’t know why? Occasional bouts of depression can be overwhelming especially when they hit you unexpectedly. Instead of destroying that summer body by downing a pint of ice cream, grab your shoes (or not) and head to your backyard.
One of the many things I love about summer are longer days and good weather. Unlike fall and winter months, you can put in a full day at the office and still make it home in time to enjoy a little sunshine. Research shows that spending time outdoors is good medicine. Not only do you get the benefits of Vitamin D, studies have shown symptoms of ADHD are reduced after exposure to natural views and settings.
Whether you are watching the sunset or reading a good book on your patio, spending as little as 20 minutes outdoors can help you feel alive again.
Here are a few ideas for boosting your mood:
- DINE ALFRESCO – Our family enjoys eating outdoors as much as possible. Below is our outdoor dining room. Don’t have an outdoor space? Pack a picnic and head to the park.
2. JOURNAL YOUR THOUGHTS – Keeping a thought diary can help to combat anxiety. Simply writing down your thoughts and emotions can help you understand them more clearly. Leave the laptop inside. Paper and pen works best so you won’t end up checking your email or on Facebook. Combine this practice while experiencing the great outdoors is certainly a double win!
Below are some inspiring places to spend time journaling even if you live in the heart of the city.
3. STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES – Pleasant fragrances often evoke fond memories. Allow flowers to take you back to happy places and bring back that loving feeling.
4. SPEND TIME WITH HAPPY PEOPLE – Check to see if you local park offers “Screen on the Green” movie nights or host a view party in your own backyard.
5. PLAY IN THE DIRT – After reading that gardening reduces stress and boosts creativity, I bought a pair of boots and gloves and never looked back. The positive effects have certainly gotten me hooked on playing in the dirt along with my kiddos.
At the very least find a spot in the grass, lie down on your back, and visualize yourself being stress-free. What are you wearing? What are you doing? Who are you with? Take note of the images in your mind and when you open your eyes, begin to take the first steps—no matter how small—in making those visions a reality. I’m living proof that it works!
Focus on the good in your life and count your blessings. You’ll find that you’re way too blessed to be so stressed.