With today’s fast-paced lifestyles, stress and overstimulation, taking time for personal wellness is as important as ever. Enhancing your wellbeing and overall health could be as easy as taking some traditional indoor activities to your backyard gaining the additional benefit of fresh air and the natural environment. Fall is the perfect time to get outside as summer’s heat subsides and before the winter cold sets in.
While there are a variety of activities you can pursue in your backyard, we’ve narrowed it down to four broad categories that you can employ to promote your personal health and wellness. Before venturing outside, it’s important that your outdoor living space is comfortable, clutter-free and conducive to the activity you are looking to undertake. Readying your backyard can be as simple as picking up the kids’ toys or making sure you have a comfortable place to sit and relax. Embracing biophilic design—design that reconnects us with nature—is another way to reduce stress, improve cognitive function and creativity, improve our well-being, and expedite healing. Landscaping your yard, adding water features or lighting, well-placed whimsical garden art and more can go a long way to creating a space that reduces stress and provides a greater overall sense of health and well-being.
Now that your outdoor living area is ready, what activities are best at promoting wellness?
Head Outside and Replace Distress with De-stress
A quiet, peaceful outdoor space is a perfect place to undertake some active forms of de-stressing your life. Whether it’s performing morning meditation, self-contemplation, simple stretching or practicing yoga, these activities can help rejuvenate your body and spirit. If you want to bump up your endorphins and get the blood pumping, outdoor aerobic exercise can do the trick. Jumping rope, squats, burpees, crunches and more can all be performed on a patio or in the backyard.
Spend Time Outside with Family & Friends
“Laughter is the best medicine” is more than just an old saying, it is actually based in scientific fact as stated in this Forbes magazine article on the subject. And who better than to make you laugh than your friends and family? Getting together for dinner with the neighbors or a happy hour with old friends is a great way to reconnect and get away from the stress of everyday life. Bring trivia or game night outdoors with the kids and don’t forget the s’mores (we’ve got great smore’s recipes here!), or send the kiddos to the grandparents’ house and have a romantic night with your sweetie under the stars.
Spend Time Outside Alone
While hanging out with the friends and family can be fun and bring a smile to your face, sometimes you just need a little “me time.” Take that latest book you’re reading and curl up on the chaise lounge outside instead of the living room couch. Words with Friends, crossword puzzles, the latest issue of Variety…all of these can be enjoyed outdoors along with chirping birds, a gentle breeze or the twinkling of wind chimes. In the mood for music or your favorite podcast (or discover a new one)? Just pop in the ear buds and lose yourself in the wonderful waves of sound. Finally, for the ultimate relaxation, settle down for a nice nap as you soak up the outdoor ambiance and drift off into dreamland.
Go Outside and Create Something
For those who may have a hard time slowing down and feel the need to be doing something, taking your creative talent outside can be a welcomed change. Paint, throw some pottery, perform some arts and crafts with the kids, or try your hand at adult crafting. For some, working in the garden can be therapeutic, which brings us full circle to incorporating more biophilic design into your outdoor living space.