“I love places that make you realize how tiny you and your problems are.” —Anonymous
(Excerpt from Lisa’s NEW BOOK – Tech-Free Vacations for Your Busy Life)
Do you have a favorite spot that you like to visit? Do you go there often? Why do you like that place? Most likely, your favorite spot is outdoors, and you feel relaxed and calm when you spend time there.
According to an article online, Spending Just 20 Minutes in a Park Makes You Happier. Here’s What Else Being Outside Can Do for Your Health, on www.time.com, by writer Jamie Ducharme, “Now, a new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research adds to the evidence and shows just how little time it takes to get the benefits of being outside. Spending just 20 minutes in a park —even if you don’t exercise while you’re there —is enough to improve wellbeing, according to the research.” (1)
Spending 30 minutes outdoors in nature may significantly help with mental and physical health issues, including stress and depression. It also helps lower blood pressure and heart rate and inspires physical activity.
I don’t need experiments or scientists telling me this—when I step away from four walls, blue screens, air conditioning, and artificial lights to the great outdoors, I instantly feel my stress levels diminish.
Sometimes, the best way to cope and thrive is to escape to a relaxing and tranquil outdoor spot during challenging times. When you want to relax somewhere, what comes to mind? Do you enjoy a deserted beach, a river in a park, the ocean, a city park with lush grass and flowers, and an abundance of trees?
If you live in the city, it’s not always simple to quickly find green space, so you may need to be creative to find a place to relax.
Relaxing spots tend to be outdoors where there’s greenery, sounds of birds, fewer city sounds (honking, big trucks, etc.), and places to walk and relax. Finding well-maintained side streets with rows of trees may be very tranquil if you live in the city.
In the winter, I walk to a nearby park to “get away from it all.” This large central city park has a flowing waterfall, a duck pond, an outdoor auditorium by the duck pond, numerous paths, and areas to explore. I always take my Border Collie Labrador dog for a walk through this beautiful park, and I have time to exercise, slow down and decompress.
In the summer months on Vancouver Island, I have the option to create a portable spot to relax in my back yard under an apple and cherry tree in a large canvas hammock. Shaded from the sun, this is my happy place to relax and gaze at the clouds, visiting birds and other signs of nature. I may nap, read, listen to music, or daydream.
I love hammocks so much that I purchased a portable nylon hammock to take when I hike. I have one favorite spot I visit with family, and we set up our hammocks at the top of a small hill, overlooking the ocean, and then we let relax and take in the sights and sounds of nature.
Where do you go to “escape the pace” for a while? Do you have a favorite spot?
TIME: For this activity, 30 minutes or longer ensure you time to calm down and relax.
METHOD: Think about having at least two relaxing spots in your world. You may have one outside and then one inside when time and weather get in the way.
Your space doesn’t need to be elaborate; it may be a simple as a bench in the park or a spot in your car at a parking lot. Space may be a room in your house, an area on your deck, or in your backyard. Once you determine what areas may be great retreat spots, you may wish to add objects to some of these spaces to help you relax.
If you designate your balcony as an escape spot, include cozy chairs, a table, and plants for privacy and add what soothes you.
A room in your home may include a comfy chair, flowers and relaxing music in the background, books, journals, and a cozy blanket to wrap around yourself.
Use your imagination to create a spot for you; be sure to add fun things, things that help you relax and rejuvenate. You deserve it.
(1) Jamie Ducharme, Spending Just 20 Minutes in a Park Makes You Happier. Here’s What Else Being Outside Can Do for Your Health, Time, February 28, 2019, https://time.co m/5539942/green-space-health-wellness/