Adding A Little More Outdoors Into Your Routine

by Ali Barfield

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget to take care of yourself. There’s always something to be done, whether it’s job-related or keeping up with friends and family. I often forget to put aside a little time to reconnect myself with the outdoors. Being in the sun and around plants is a vital part of living – I know that if it weren’t for my cactus collection, I would rarely see green except in the occasional tree outside my classroom windows. But now that spring is fast approaching, here are a few ideas on adding a little more outdoors into your routine.

Step 1: Make the indoors a little more “outdoorsy”

There has been a huge increase in the succulent and cactus trend which I have been l-o-v-i-n-g! Until about a year ago, I had one sad little fern sitting on my desk that rarely got watered (spoiler alert: she died.) Once I started seeing more plant stores popping up and cactus prints everywhere, I decided to go for it and get another plant. This one was a much hardier cactus. That first purchase started the addiction. One year later and about 20 plants in, I am so much better off since bringing a bit of the outdoors inside. Not only do they brighten up my tiny apartment, but they improve air quality and overall happiness.

Investing in a couple of cacti and succulents is an easy and affordable way to incorporate those green vibes into your day. They’re easy, even if you’re lacking a green thumb like me.

Step 2: Eat breakfast outside

Get a cute table and chairs if you have a yard, or a comfy pillow to sit on the fire escape if you don’t. Or if neither of those are possible, just head outside to a nearby bench to drink your cup of joe while munching on something or simply take your breakfast to go and enjoy it on a walk. Any little bit of time you can get outside for some fresh air will help to jump start your day.

Step 3: Find a new place once a week

I know it can be difficult to get outside every day, not even I have been 100% successful (unless you count the walk to the subway). Make a pact with yourself to find a new trail or park, or even lunch spot with outdoor seating at least once a week. By doing this, you can connect more with nature and with your sense of adventure. It’s all too easy to find yourself in a routine and never break it.

Step 4: Take your workout outdoors

We all have that gym membership that we haven’t used in months. Well, cancel that and turn the outdoors into your gym. Go for a run for cardio, take a yoga mat to the park for some easy stretches and relaxing poses, or get in touch with your inner kid and go to the monkey bars to increase strength.

Step 5: Get a little crafty with an outdoor journal

This is one step that doesn’t need to be daily, or even weekly, but whenever you have a bit of extra down time head outside and sketch what you see. Pick your favorite flowers, dry them, and paste them into your notebook. You can even record your outdoor workout or take note of how the surroundings are changing from day to day. The possibilities are endless when it comes to journaling.

Life isn’t all about getting ahead and constantly working. It is important to take some time to yourself, away from technology, and incorporate as much of nature into life as you can. Get back to the fundamentals of life and focus on what is best for your mental and physical health.

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