Going outside daily benefits us in many ways. Going outside benefits our mind and mood with an essential boost.
As a new mama, one of the things I seemed to find really difficult was getting outside with my children. Maybe it was the feeling that everyone was watching me. I often didn’t feel motivated to get dressed or take care of myself. Whatever made it feel difficult, my journey to healing led me to realise how essential getting outside is to my mental health.
Going Outside Relieves Stress
Does it surprise you to know that getting outside helps mental health by relieving stress? Going outside for as little as 10 minutes every day improves our mood and focus. It can even lower our blood pressure!
I first noticed these benefits when we first moved to Australia. We bought a washer and decided to do as the Aussies do, forego the dryer, and hang up all our clothes on the line outside. I thought it would be quite a chore, but I found that the happiest part of my day was hanging up our clothes. We finally broke down and bought a dryer after my fourth baby was born. However, I still find myself making the effort to hang out our clothes for the added stress relief and sunshine.
The Benefits of Sunshine
Sunshine, especially in the morning, gives you vitamin D. Vitamin D keeps our bodies healthy through making our bones stronger, strengthening muscles, and fighting inflammation. Going out in the sunshine can help us get more of this essential vitamin.
If you’ve read very much of this blog, you’ll know that I talk about serotonin boosts often. When we suffer from depression, often our serotonin levels may be out of whack. Any way that we can boost serotonin is going to help us cope better with any depressive symptoms we may have. One of the easiest ways we can boost our serotonin is by going outside, because sunshine boosts serotonin. This, in turn, balances our mood.
One of the best benefits of sunshine is the rise in energy levels when you spend some time outside. This obviously would be impacted by the increased levels of vitamin D and the boost of serotonin. These physical benefits would naturally give you a higher energy level as well.
Going Outside Helps Sleep Cycle
By far, this has to be every mamas favorite benefit of going outside. If you and your baby/toddler/child go outside together, your circadian rhythms will regulate. This should help you and your little ones get a better night’s sleep. Am I promising a miracle? No, but it sure couldn’t hurt!
Early morning light seems to help the most with regulating circadian rhythm, so gathering everyone up and eating breakfast outside might be a fun way to start your day. If, however, you’re not a morning person (like me), maybe wait until your first cup of coffee is consumed before getting everyone dressed and outside.
Going outside after breakfast has recently become our morning routine. It has helped me and the kids so much. I might start the day feeling down, or the kids might be acting extra rowdy, but when we go outside they don’t seem quite so loud and my mood improves. My kids are mostly at ages where they sleep now (my youngest is two). The youngest two are known to wake before 5:15 a.m. Since we have started making outside time a priority, I have been delighted for them to be sleeping an hour and a half more than before.
Boost Your Immunity by Going Outside
Over the past few years, I have gained an interest in boosting my family’s immune system. Getting outside in the sunshine is one of the top ways we boost our immunity. Our bodies get stronger when we spend time outside. Our minds get stronger when we spend time outside. If you want to be healthier in general, try going outside on a daily basis. Plus, with kids in tow, getting them out in the fresh air will help counteract all the bugs they might come in contact with at playdates or daycare.
If you haven’t made going outside every day a part of your routine, maybe it’s time to start. In just 10 minutes a day, you should start to see benefits for yourself and your little ones.
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