There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.
--Henry David Thoreau
Go outside. Weather-permitting, every day. It's good for your mental and emotional health. Add in even a little bit of movement, and it's good for your physical health. It is a magic elixir to get an instant boost of well-being.
In The Willpower Instinct, Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. writes:
Just five minutes of what scientists call “green exercise” decreases stress, improves mood, enhances focus, and boosts self-control. Green exercise is any physical activity that gets you outdoors and in the presence of Mama Nature. The best news is that when it comes to green exercise, a quick fix really is enough. Shorter bursts have a more powerful effect on your mood than longer workouts. You also don’t have to break a sweat or push yourself to exhaustion. Lower-intensity exercise, like walking, has stronger immediate effects than high-intensity exercise.
Here are some ideas for your own five-minute green exercise fill-up:
• Cue up a favorite song on your iPod and walk or jog around the block.
• Take your dog outside to play (and chase the toy yourself).
• Do a bit of work in your yard or garden.
• Step outside for some fresh air and do a few simple stretches.
• Challenge your kids to a race or game in the backyard.I am sensing in myself the beginnings of the fear that home is the only safe place. Walking outside reminds me: it's not actually that the world has coronavirus. Humans have it. Trees, beginning to leaf out, do not have it. Bluebonnets are blooming, they do not have it. The grass underneath my feet is healthy. "Outside" is still there, still nurturing. The world is still our blue boat home.