The sun is shining, the trees and flowers are blossoming with new growth, the birds are singing bright and early, welcoming in spring. The smell of barbeques throughout the neighborhood is an open invitation to come outside and take a walk, to greet your neighbors and relax over a cup of coffee on the front porch. Puddles left over from rain showers beg for little feet to splash in them.
The benefits to going outside in nature are immediate and lasting. Studies show within 2 minutes of being in nature, stress levels decrease. Within 2 hours, memory and attention span improves. Symptoms of anxiety, depression and ADHD decrease, blood pressure decreases, risk of diabetes and heart disease decrease. At the same time, energy and immunity increase, sense of creativity increases, vitamin D production increases. Sleep quality is improved, and there is an increase in physical activity. Studies show an increase in self-awareness, sense of connectedness, and kindness to others with time spent outdoors. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, spending time in nature promotes psychological restoration.
Here are just a few outdoor activities you can try: