Hey LIV Fam—have you gotten any fresh air today? With the ongoing pandemic, many of us are still staying in and working from home. While we are finding inventive ways to move our bodies, current regulations make it harder to fit a healthy amount of outdoor time into our schedules. On top of this, with delivery services and apps bringing the world to our doorsteps, it’s easy to forget about the feel-good benefits of nature. Read on to learn about the holistic health advantages of the great outdoors, plus check out our tips to help you bring the outside in.
Your Mind on Nature
Studies show that your environment affects your wellbeing, and being surrounded by a natural environment can be especially beneficial for whole-body health. Getting outside (safely) can make a world of difference in our energy levels, performance, and mood. Has not being able to see your friends or family been getting you down? Spending time outdoors can help with feelings of isolation and sadness, even when you’re by yourself. For an added feel-good boost, city dwellers should make a point to seek out natural environments (think: public parks, beaches, or botanical gardens). Scientists have found evidence that when compared to walking outside in an urban setting, being surrounded by nature has the strongest positive effect on your mind.
Make Your Living Space a Green Space
If you love nature, why not bring the outside in? It’s proven that having a houseplant at home or at your office workspace can actually elevate your mood. Visit a local greenhouse or have plants delivered to your door (yes, there are even plant subscription services). Try growing year-round edible herbs in small containers in your kitchen. Rosemary and lavender are both beautiful to look at and taste great in a variety of recipes.
Scientists say photos and artificial sounds are the next best thing to spending time outside and experiencing the ambiance of mother nature firsthand. To get your calming fix 24/7, redecorate a living room or office space with inspiration from the outdoors! Try picking natural textiles for furniture, baskets, blankets, and more. Think: rattan, woven items, and wooden fixtures. Try a sound machine app that offers chirping birds, babbling brooks, or crashing waves. Frame pictures of expansive outdoor spaces like the ocean, woods, a stream, or whatever natural scene relaxes you most. With these additions to your space, you’ll have an indoor woodland or beachside retreat in no time!
The simplest and most cost-effective way to bring nature inside right this minute? Crack open a window and enjoy the fresh, crisp air.
Ground Yourself in the Great Outdoors
Nature calms our senses and grounds us in the present moment. In fact, the sounds, sights, and smells of nature have been proven to reduce stress levels and relax the prefrontal cortex—the part of your brain that switches on adrenaline and sends you into “fight or flight” mode when you’re stressed. Not convinced? Picture this: you’re walking your favorite local trail in the woods. You notice the sounds of a rippling stream nearby coupled with the crispy, crunchy leaves beneath your feet. It’s quiet, and there are no cars, computers, or phones in sight. If just visualizing that relaxed you a bit, imagine what being in nature to experience it firsthand would do for your mind!
For an extra sensory bonus, try stepping out barefoot (weather permitting). Many wellness enthusiasts believe that this practice, known as grounding, can actually support and improve holistic wellbeing. And it turns out they might be onto something. Scientific studies show that the practice of grounding can help you become more aware of your balance. Additionally, many people report feeling less anxious, depressed, and fatigued when practicing grounding on a regular basis.
Go ahead, LIV Fam, take off your shoes and feel the textures of the ground beneath your feet. Take deep breaths and enjoy the sensation of (literally) connecting with the earth.
Socialize Safely Outside
Do you already spend a lot of time in nature alone, and you’re looking to socialize? Try scheduling a distanced weekly hike with a loved one on one of your favorite trails, or go for a bike ride at a nearby park.
However you choose to spend time in the great outdoors, don't forget to hydrate. If you’re on the go, remember to pack a stick of Hydration Multiplier. Add it to your bottle of water for 2-3x more hydration than water alone.
Remember, LIV Fam: be safe, stay positive, and make it a point to reconnect with nature this winter. You’ll be glad you did!