How an outdoor oasis can improve your health
Studies have shown that it can take as little as 20 minutes outdoors to improve your health. You don’t even have to exercise to see the benefits. Spending time outdoors has been shown to lower stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate. While you don’t have to exercise, being outdoors can boost your interest in physical activity as well as improve your mood. Some studies even suggest that green space can improve mental health and reduce chances of a psychological disorder.
Create your own outdoor space to relieve stress
Your outdoor space can look any way you like, but some of these things can make it pleasant and stress relieving.
- Include plants and trees- Looking at plants and trees reduces the stress hormone, cortisol, plus they’re just beautiful.
- Have a water feature- The glassy surface of the water and the gentle splashes of a fountain can add an extra level of stress reduction.
- Incorporate inviting scents- The scent of jasmine wafting through the air, magnolia blossoms, roses, honeysuckle, citrus blossoms are a few that I can think of off the top of my head that make your space smell incredible.
- Add a place for the eye to rest- a lovely pool of blue water, a winding path, an expanse of green grass.
- Choose a place to be able to go barefoot to practice grounding- Soft green grass, a smooth path or a smooth patch of earth can be a great spot for standing and absorbing the Earth’s soothing energy.
- Include both a shady spot and a sunny spot to sit in- In the early morning hours, you can sit outdoors and absorb vitamin D for 10-20 minutes. After that, you’ll need a shady spot to retreat from the heat and harmful UV rays of the sun. (Use a physical sunscreen, like one with zinc oxide, after 10-20 minutes. Only go without sunscreen before 10:00am and after 4:00pm to avoid the strongest UV rays.)
- Add a place to sit for a while- Add a comfortable bench or chair to relax in during your time outdoors. This is a great way to meditate!
What if you don’t have an outdoor space?
If you don’t have a place to create your own outdoor space, borrow one. Go to a park or arboretum to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors. You could even visit your local landscaping store. Lowe’s and Home Depot both have a large gardening department where you can wander through and enjoy all the beautiful plants.
Another idea is to add a lot of potted plants to a sunny window in your home. If the weather is too hot or too cold, you can sit by the window and enjoy your indoor plants. My family has had a lot of fun collecting plants during quarantine after the Covid-19 outbreak.
Comment below your favorite things to add to your outdoor oasis.