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Get Outside!

It has happened so many times in my life – I am feeling low or particularly stressed, and someone tells me to go outside. I roll my eyes when this happens because it seems almost patronizing – how can simply going outside help solve the issues that are stressing me out? But sure enough, when I step outdoors and breathe in fresh air, I start to feel better. Now, taking a long walk outside has been a go-to method for stress relief for me.

During the pandemic when gyms closed, many people discovered the joys and emotional benefits of walking. Walking regularly can decrease anxiety and depression symptoms, boost your energy, and increase your level of sleep.

What I think I like best about walking is spending time in green spaces. Being immersed in natural sunlight and hearing the trees move in the wind can help get me out of my own head. Nature calms us. In a world full of screens and busy work schedules, our bodies yearn for it. I encourage you to begin implementing weekly outdoor walks, but here are some other ways you can get involved with outdoor activities:

  • Plant some flowers or vegetables.
  • Sit outside and listen to the sounds of nature.
  • Eat outside.
  • Go stargazing.
  • Do an outdoor workout.
  • Go birdwatching or hang up a birdfeeder in your yard!
  • Journal or read a book outside.
  • Enjoy your morning coffee outside.
  • Do outdoor yoga.
  • Have an outdoor picnic.

As our days start to get longer and our days brighter, schedule yourself some outdoor time – it is good for your mental health!

Sadie Hinkel, Program Director for The Kim Foundation

Sadie Hinkel is the Program Director at The Kim Foundation. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English Education from Morningside University and her Master’s Degree in Writing from Coastal Carolina University. Sadie worked as a high school English teacher for six years, where she realized her passion for advocating for mental health education and awareness. She joined The Kim Foundation in February of 2022 and currently works managing events for the foundation, coordinating volunteer activities, and developing outreach efforts.