When you are having a busy day at work, taking the time to go for a walk or just sit and spend time outdoors can help to alleviate some of the pressure and stress you might be experiencing.
It often does not take much more than 30 minutes or an hour to gain some perspective from being in the fresh air to give you the energy to get your nose back on the grindstone.
Interestingly, this subjective sense of wellbeing also has clinical evidence to support it. Indeed, according to research reported in the Guardian, there is a proven link between good mental health and visiting green spaces.
Researchers in Finland found that visits to parks, gardens, and other urban green spaces led to city dwellers reducing their use of drugs for mental health conditions such as:
Additionally, they also observed a reduction in use of drugs to treat physical ailments including high blood pressure and asthma.
While spending time outside might seem inconvenient, it can be easier than you think to find space for nature in your busy schedule.
Read on to discover how you can take advantage of the link between nature and mental health to improve your wellbeing.
Make sure you spend time outside every day
One of the simplest things you could do is to set a target of spending time outdoors every day.
Whether that involves going for a walk in some local countryside or just sitting on a bench in a city park, this is a straightforward and practical change you can make to your routine. You could even build it into a 30-minute or hour-long break for lunch.
You might not ordinarily take a lunch hour, viewing this as a waste of time when you could be cracking on with important work.
But actually, Mental Health Foundation reports that improved mental health can result in as much as a 12% increase in productivity.
So, spending an hour outside every day might both help you improve your mental health, and make you more effective at work in building your business or solving problems as a result.
Having a destination in mind can encourage you to spend time outdoors
Aside from overcoming time constraints, the other barrier to entry that might put you off is the perceived purposelessness of time in nature. After all, it is all well and good to go for a walk or sit on a hill and look at the scenery, but if you do not have a goal for your time, then it can quickly fall away as a priority.
So, to encourage you to spend time outdoors, you could choose a destination that requires you to go into nature.
For example, there may be a café near your office where you could go for a coffee in the week that takes a route through a green space. Or, you could visit a landmark in an area of natural beauty at the weekends, going for a walk around the grounds of a country house or something similar.
Having a target and purpose for your outdoor time could give you the drive you need to actively pursue it.
Exercise in areas of natural beauty
If you are able to do so, exercise should ideally play a part in your routine for the immense physical benefits that come with it. So, a simple way to spend more time outside is to do that exercise outdoors.
You can easily do activities such as running, hiking, and cycling in local fields or parks, or you could even take a training mat into your garden for an hour of yoga or Pilates. Golf can also be an excellent option for this, offering a fairly low-impact sport that is often situated in green spaces.
A simple switch to doing your workouts outdoors could make a significant difference to your mental health.
This also has the additional mental health benefits that can come with exercising. According to mental health charity Mind, many studies have shown that exercise can help with better sleep, happier moods, and managing stress, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts.
Spending time in nature can be a social activity
One of the best ways to encourage yourself to spend more time outdoors is to turn it into a social activity, and visit them with your spouse or partner, other friends and family, or even colleagues and employees.
By turning time in nature into a social activity, it might entice you to do it more often. You could even establish a standing appointment with whoever you are doing it with, encouraging each other to spend more time outside.
Much like exercise, socialising also comes with its own mental health benefits. As the NHS website states, connecting with people around you can:
- Help reaffirm your personal sense of belonging and self-worth
- Offer the chance to share in positive life experiences
- Provide emotional support, both for them and you.
So, not only might you feel a mental health boost from your time in nature, but you could also benefit from spending time around others.
Get in touch
One thing that should not be causing you any trouble with your mental health is your money.
So, if you would like to work with a financial planner who can help you organise your wealth, please contact us at DBL Asset Management.
Email email@example.com or call 01625 529 499 to speak to us today.