It’s better for your mental and physical health to get outside for 10 mins a day than not at all. It’s got to be “intentional” time outside.
Obviously optimal time outdoors would be 30+ mins. in the garden, hiking in the woods or on a trail. But if you don’t have the time for that, there are a few simple ways to get exposed to the fresh air and natural light.
Have your coffee or tea on the porch, the deck or on the balcony.
When you go to get your mail, walk around your yard, or if you don’t have one.
When you are waiting to pick up the kids, get out of the car, and wait.
There are many easy little things you can do to increase your outdoor exposure, but the trick is in what you do in those ten minutes.
Do not, play on your phone, or check email or social media sites.
Do not talk on the phone.
Do not run through a mental list of all that you still need to do this day or week.
Instead try doing the following.
Take several slow deep breaths.
Feel the sun or daylight on your skin.
Close your eyes, then open then and really see the world around you.
Take note of that which is beautiful
The shape of a cloud, the colours of trees or flowers, flocks or geese flying…
Think on something or someone good, a sweet memory, encouraging words or a scripture or poetic verse…
Whisper your gratitude
Repeat as often as necessary.
Dark hills against a hollow crocus sky
Scarfed with its crimson pennons, and below
The dome of sunset long, hushed valleys lie
Cradling the twilight, where the lone winds blow
And wake among the harps of leafless trees
Fantastic runes and mournful melodies.
The chilly purple air is threaded through
With silver from the rising moon afar,
And from a gulf of clear, unfathomed blue
In the southwest glimmers a great gold star
Above the darkening druid glens of fir
Where beckoning boughs and elfin voices stir.
And so I wander through the shadows still,
And look and listen with a rapt delight,
Pausing again and yet again at will
To drink the elusive beauty of the night,
Until my soul is filled, as some deep cup,
That with divine enchantment is brimmed up.