The next time you need a natural mood booster, look to the environment. There have been countless studies showing that nature boosts your mood and self-esteem. In fact, people saw the greatest self-esteem and mood changes after only five minutes of light-intensity outdoor activity.
Over the years, there has been a large disconnect in our society from nature. We are more industrialized and we don’t spend nearly as much time outside. I know firsthand how much better I feel when I take a midday walk. Just getting away from the office, getting some fresh air, getting some sunlight and allowing my mind to take a break does wonders.
If you can carve out as little as five minutes a day to reconnect with nature, I can almost guarantee a shift in your mood. And now that spring is upon us, it’s the best time to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather.
Here are some simple strategies to get you started:
1. Walk instead of coffee
When the afternoon lull hits, instead of grabbing a coffee to boost your energy and mood, grab your walking shoes. Keep your tennis shoes with you at work and commit to walking outside around the building for 5-10 minutes. It will boost your energy, improve your mood and clear your mind.
2. Grab your laptop
The perfect way to get your work done AND enjoy the environment is to do a little work outside. Grab your laptop and go sit somewhere quiet and appealing. Maybe go to the park. Sit outside on a bench. Sit outside at your house if you do work there instead of an office.
3. Automate it
I know that my days tend to slip away very quickly. I have started using a task reminder on my smartphone to remind me of activities I would like to mark off daily. It beeps once a day to remind me to do a five minute meditation and it reminds me once a day to get outside. The reminders are so helpful!