Getting some sun and engaging the senses in different ways can improve mood and is especially helpful for people suffering from depression and anxiety. I'm fully aware that places are open now and not everyone is staying in as much; however, for those of us who are content in our bubble, here are some ways to get outside that have significantly improved my mental health during quarantine. Being your best self means knowing what your body needs and sometimes that means getting some fresh air!
I have a love for home improvement. Growing up, I watched my mom take care of our garden and saw how rewarding it could be. Digging in the dirt has always been a stress reliever and has especially helped me during this time of isolation. Quarantine has pushed me to work on my backyard since that is where I have longed to be lately. I always plant things with a purpose so I started to make goals for how I wanted my space to look and feel. The research part can feel just as fun as actually planting, so if you are bored in the house this part will distract you. I started out with some simple flower pots, researched what flowers attracted bees, and eventually started the larger project of digging up flower beds on the side of my house. I loved seeing what I planted as seeds a few weeks ago start to sprout. To me, beautifying an outdoor space, putting the work into keeping plants alive and happy, and simply working outside has significantly improved my mood. People are like plants in many ways - a little water and sunlight go a long way.
Laying outside is the first thing I did in quarantine when I was sick of being cooped up in the house. This activity is the best one on this list because all you need is a blanket, your favorite playlist, and maybe a drink. Coming right out of winter, I'm also trying to slowly build my tan so I don't burn to a crisp later in the summer. The more food I bring outside the more I realize picnicking is a great outdoor activity as well. Make it feel fancy by creating your own charcuterie board with cheese and crackers. Sometimes all we need is a change of scenery!
People with dogs already know the drill! I'm a cat mom, so outdoor play isn't talked about that much, but I'm here to tell you that my cat loves to chill outside. She has been meowing at the door every morning to go outside and roll around on the porch. Sometimes we will hang out with her for a bit and enjoy the morning breeze. This is something so small but can boost you and your kitty's mood. In other words, find little reasons to get outside!
For my boyfriend and I's one year anniversary, he came up with the brilliant idea of camping in our backyard. We set up the tent and made a fire. He moved the tv into the back window so it was visible from the tent and we watched "Star Wars: Clone Wars" from outside with a Bluetooth speaker. It was the most romantic set-up, but it could be a fun family night as well!