Top 10 Outdoor Activities to Help You Improve Your Mental Health
Everyone feels down from time to time; we all experience those days where we feel like we can’t face the world and would love nothing more than to crawl into bed and stay there. These feelings are perfectly normal, but knowing how to deal with them can be difficult.
The good news is there are several ways you can help improve your mood by incorporating some outdoor activities into your life. By being outdoors, you’re reducing your chances of being cooped up in an office or trapped indoors at home, both of which could contribute to you feeling increasingly isolated and leading to a downturn in your mental health.
Even so, you might still find that you’re feeling particularly low and need something more than just fresh air to help improve your mood. If this is the case, here are 10 ways you can use outdoor activities to give yourself a mental health boost:
1) Go for a walk
Taking a stroll around the block is a great way to get some fresh air and clear your head. Walking is low impact and can help release endorphins, which will boost your mood. Going for a walk is extremely beneficial to your mental well-being. Just 15 minutes of walking each day have been proven to help both depression and anxiety, so two hours on the weekend should help! If you can’t be bothered to go out on foot, try exercising at home or in the local gym.
2) Go for a run
Running is one of the top ten outdoor activities that has been proven to improve mental health because not only does it provide you with an excellent cardiovascular workout, but research published in the British Journal of Health Psychology shows that running can also decrease our levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
3) Visit a National Park
Visiting a national park such as the New Forest or Great Yarmouth sea life center can be both exciting and inspiring. They’re packed full of things to do, people to meet, and places to explore! The fresh air will give you a welcome boost and help you feel re-energized. A walk in the park can be a peaceful way to relax and go over everything that’s been happening recently. It will certainly help calm your thoughts. The fresh air will energize you and allow you to clear your head so when you return home you will be more relaxed and refreshed.
4) Go for a bike ride
Getting out on your bike is another enjoyable way to boost your mood while getting some exercise in the process. Riding around with friends, family, or even on your own will give you the chance to unwind, enjoy some fresh air and get some sunshine on your face. It’s both fun and good for you!
5) Visit an animal sanctuary
Animal sanctuaries are packed full of animals, which is a great way to get out there and have some fun whilst doing something positive for animals across Europe. They’re usually aimed at supporting wildlife, as well as caring for rescued animals that require specific care before being released back into their natural habitat.
6) Join a sports team
Joining a sports club or team is a great way to build up your confidence and meet new people. Not only will it get you out of the house, but the social aspect could help improve your sense of belonging and give you a feeling that you’re needed, which can be both important and beneficial for mental health.
7) Go on a hike
As well as being one of the top ten outdoor activities, hiking is also excellent for improving mental wellbeing because not only does it allow you to enjoy nature and absorb some stunning views, but studies show that walking in nature reduces stress and anxiety while boosting our mood and energy levels.
8) Spend time by the sea
The sea has long been known as ‘the cure-all’ when it comes to physical health, but it can be very beneficial for mental health too. The sound of the ocean waves crashing against the shore has been known to help relieve stress and relax both mind and body and the salty air is also known to cleanse the soul.
Going for a walk by sea can help improve mental health because it’ll provide you with an abundance of new things to see and plenty of time to think about everything that’s happened recently; Everyone needs time to wind down, which is what sitting on a bench overlooking the waves allows us to do.
9) Go camping or fishing
If you’re stuck for ideas of things to do, why not try one of these excellent outdoor activities? Camping allows you to get back in touch with nature and appreciate the simple beauty that surrounds us every day, while fishing provides a great opportunity to enjoy some peace, take your mind off things and get in tune with nature.
10) Visit someplace new
Traveling somewhere new is an excellent way of getting yourself out there and experiencing something completely different while also giving your senses some stimulation which can benefit your mood. Research suggests that it’s not just where we go that makes us feel better, but who we’re with too; if possible try visiting somewhere with friends or family who will make you laugh or relax when you need to.
This list should provide you with plenty of options for fun, quality activities that are both mentally and physically beneficial. It’s important to take time out to look after ourselves, especially if we’re feeling stressed or unhappy which is why the above outdoor activities can help improve mental wellbeing.