If there’s one thing I’ve learned about living in Portland, it’s that, except for 2 months each summer, it is always raining, about to rain, or looks like it’s about to rain. Most of the time it just looks like it’s about to rain, so I’ve learned to just get outside anyway. So what if I get a little wet, or completely soaked, as it may be. There are always excuses not to go outside (it’s too hot, it’s too cold, too muddy…) or not to exercise or not to take the kids to the park, but the truth is WE NEED TO BE OUTSIDE. Studies now show depression and suicide rates are higher in people who do not spend time in nature. That’s scary as most of us live inside, work inside and spend the majority of our time….INSIDE.
So what can we do to combat this? GET OUT! Plan vacations doing outdoor things picnics, bike rides, hikes, scavenger hunts, (REI rents camping equipment and Craig’s list sells it), go to the park with your family, talk a walk after dinner, eat in your back yard. Open your windows. Explore your local parks over your lunch break.
Some cities and companies around the world are building in “nature time” during the work day to keep their citizens and employees happy and healthy. So instead of a smoke break or a gossip break, or TV time, roll your ole’ bones outside and drink in the wonder! It will keep your brain and your body functioning optimally!
(picture taken by yours truly in one of my favorite outdoor places, Forrest Park)