I’m extrapolating here, but I feel like every so often, we all get an incessant urge to be outside. Whether it’s because the temperature is perfect or because we appreciate the sound of rain, sometimes the outside calls us.
And often, we stay inside. There are a few reasons this could be. We may feel we can only be productive if we’re cooped up inside and focused on a task.
We may associate the outdoors with playing and relaxation, and so, restrict our intake of it.
We may believe that walking, biking, or just sitting outside is a waste of time. But for whatever reason, when I felt the urge to go outside to get some sun and fresh air, I used to stay inside regardless.
But I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to be impulsive when it comes to wanting to go outside, and how I changed my attitude to focus on the benefits of doing so.
I’m gonna be honest here, I think some of the emotional benefits of sunlight are placebo. That being said, there is a time and place for placebo; if something works for you and it doesn’t hurt anyone else, why question it?
Sunlight can affect both your physical and mental health. According to Tri-City Medical Center—
- Increase in Vitamin D—Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Those nutrients keep bones healthy.
- Improved Mood—Researches found more emotional distress in people during seasons with little sun exposure and the opposite in days with plenty. Sunlight exposure increases serotonin and helps treat symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder
There are other benefits, like stronger bones, lower blood pressure, and higher quality sleep, but I think most of the people reading this post are more concerned with its effects on the brain, just as I am.
How to Make Yourself Go Outside
I have a lot of fun determining how I can be productive while I’m outside. If I’m about to settle in and work on a blog post for example, I’l often get the urge to go outside.
So I get on my bike, open up a voice to text app on my phone, and speak into it the words and ideas I have for my post.
That makes being outside good physical exercise as well as productive. And it’s just really fun to do things in different ways like that. It keeps work interesting and staves off monotony.
If I feel anxious, I sometimes determine that physical activity would work away some of the physical symptoms. So I go to my community pool, but I’m sure to bring a book and my journal. That way, in a span of 2 hours, I can swim, write in my journal, and read.
That’s just a couple hours, and so amazingly good for my health.
So next time you get the feeling that going outside could do you some good, try to figure out how you can make yourself more comfortable with the time commitment.
Get yourself some iced coffee or tea or something, sit out there doing homework or studying or whatever. It’s delightful and I highly recommend it.
Getting Sunlight in an Off-Season
I live in Pennsylvania, so things like biking and swimming are usually not an option because of the temperature or weather.
But it only takes 5-15 minutes of exposure to sunlight to reap the physical and emotional benefits, so I like to meditate in front of an open window. Feeling the sun hitting your eyelids is super cool.
If your moods change drastically with the seasons, I also recommend looking into light therapy. There are special lamps that mimic sunlight, and so people with symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder treat their seasonal mood shifts in the colder months with them.
I don’t own one, but as far as I’ve heard, they work pretty well. And they’re not super expensive.
If you have any questions or suggestions, comment or message me directly. This is a pretty light post, but I encourage you all to try and make getting outside feel fun and productive, because you’ll be doing well for yourself.
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