We all know that more time in nature can support a better mind and body.  However, studies point to the fact that nature is not only nice to have, but it is a have-to-have for physical health and mental cognition.  Time in nature can decrease blood pressure, reduce stress hormone levels, enhance your immune system, and improve mood.  And while you may think it takes a long nature walk or a weekend of camping, we prefer the easy, more frequent approach.  We’ve created simple and free ways for you to enjoy some fresh air. 

1. Find your place.In just a few minutes, list the closest places where you can find some fresh air.  Is it a local park that you can walk to with trees and grass?  Are there some fresh flowers nearby?  Is there a body of water nearby?

2. Make sure you feel safe.  A barrier to getting outdoors can be access to safe spaces.  Think about how you’ll be there, if you’ll take someone with you, and the time of day. 

3. Have a plan.Schedule the time on your calendar – can you get out in the morning before you log in to work?  Can you take a break over lunch?  Decide on your frequency and for how long.  5-10 minutes walking barefoot through the grass is often enough to recharge yourself and boost your mood.

4. Evolve your routine.Consistency is everything, as with any new habit.  However, as weather changes, so do our habits.  Think about how your routine will need to evolve for you; you owe it to yourself to support your well-being.  

5. Spend more time as a bonus. As you see the benefits this has to your mental and physical health, make it a goal to extend the time.  Take a Friday morning off instead of the afternoon – get it in right away so you feel the benefits all day long.

If you’re looking for more information on how nature and ecology can impact your inner wellbeing and psychology, read more here.