Five Ways to Work the Outdoors into a Busy Week

Five Ways to Work the Outdoors into a Busy Week

Five Ways to Work the Outdoors into a Busy Week

by | Apr 28, 2022 | Lifestyle

By ELITE Lifestyle Contributor Kris Herndon

You’re at your desk, craving sunshine and fresh air – but it’s a random Tuesday. What to do?

“There are many benefits to being outdoors: calming emotions, regulating heart rate, increasing dopamine and serotonin feel-good hormones, and reducing overall stress,” says Deborah Flanagan, founder of the Center for True Health.

Even if you’re busy, you can find small ways to appreciate nature and be outside, and Flanagan, a top Reiki master, says it’s worth doing for your health. Here are five ideas to try:

Get your coffee to go and take it to the roof. Got a roof deck in your apartment or office building? Take your favorite coffee drink there, and just focus on feeling the sun on your skin. Safe sun exposure (use SPF 30 on any exposed skin) boosts mood and helps your body produce Vitamin D.

Make a purposeful trip to window-shop. Rock-climbing, hiking, or mountain-biking might be your ideal day in the Great Outdoors — but you’ll still get physical and mental-health benefits from walking a few city blocks. A brisk walk will increase your circulation, and get your heart rate up. You’ll come back to your desk refreshed.

Schedule a meeting as a walk-and-talk. If you’re meeting one-on-one or with a small group, why not?  Check Google Maps for parks near your office. You may even find your group is more creative with the slight change of scene.

Take off your shoes and connect with the earth. Says Flanagan: “For thousands of years our ancestors did this as a matter of course.” When you walk barefoot on dirt, grass, or sand, you’re experiencing a primal connection with nature. That helps you feel more grounded – literally and figuratively.

Make time for a “commute.” For those working at home, Flanagan recommends tapping into the power of what she calls a “mindful mini-commute.” You may not miss commuting per se, but having a set period of time to mentally prepare for — or decompress from — the demands of the working day can actually boost productivity. Try it: at the start and the end of your work day, take time to go outside and walk. “Pay extra attention to nature,” Flanagan says. “Birds, trees, the sun, the sky…”

Try these habits and see which ones fit best into your week. Before you know it, small doses of outdoor time will be a part of your daily routine.

To read more articles by Kris click here: For Earth Day, Five Easy Ways to Go Green