You may have noticed the abundance of people outside as the weather starts getting warmer and days get longer. There’s just something so refreshing about being able to walk outside for the first time without layers of clothing on and having the warm sun hitting your skin.
The summertime weather and sunshine having a positive effect on your mood isn’t new information. Being outside has been proven to decrease stress and calm your heart rate. If you have access to any park or a place with a lot of green space, though, you may experience an even bigger increase in your mood. Being exposed to green space as a child has also been associated with a lower risk of psychiatric disorders from adolescence into adulthood. Parks in cities have specifically shown improvements in well-being even after a short visit, and just 20 minutes predicted high improvement in life satisfaction.
The best part about these studies is that it can mean doing anything in green spaces and parks, whether it be taking a walk, reading on a bench, or talking with a friend on the swings. No matter what you do, no matter how much or as little intensive, simply being around nature and green space (especially in a city and more industrial environment) can make the biggest difference.
As final projects and assignments build and feel daunting as the school year begins to come to a close, even the smallest amount of time outside can make a big difference. If your child is able to take twenty minutes one day when you notice that they are particularly stressed, advise them to put thei rearbuds in, play something light, and walk around a beaten path surrounded by trees. They may find themselves breathing a little easier and feeling more refreshed to tackle that assignment (or several).
Do you live near a park? Are there any green spaces around you that you have, or would want to, walk around in for stress relief? What are your favorite activities to do outside?