“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”-John Burroughs
Heyyy Sugas! For the past two years, the pandemic has had an impact on everyone’s life! People all over the world have had to get adjusted to staying in their bubble and with little to no contact with others. Lucky for us, home can always be a determining factor in someone’s mental health! And in 2020 we experienced it together. When the world shut down we gravitated towards our outdoor living spaces and found solace in the healing powers of nature. The burning question y’all probably have is “How am I supposed to successfully achieve self-care and I am stuck at home?” Well Suga, today is your lucky day because here are three ways that your outdoor living space can enhance your self-care.
- Have a Picnic to reduce anxiety and depression
One of the major benefits of having an outdoor living space is the ability to unplug, relax and unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We’ve not only witnessed it within our Black Women Who Love Outdoor Living Spaces Group but it’s a fact backed by science. According to Lifeworkscc “Spending time outdoors reduces your symptoms of anxiety and depression. An analysis of ten studies found that spending time in a green environment improved mood and self-esteem.” Many of our Suga Sistas have shared that they’ve experienced a significant increase in their self-esteem and saw a reduction in their depression symptoms since joining the group and spending more time in their outdoor living space. So Sugas grab a blanket, pack your favorite lunch items and enjoy some alone time the next time you start to feel overwhelmed.
2. Gardening helps relieve Stress!
Suga there is nothing like a little peace of mind! Nature itself has a very calming presence and it allows us to have a clear mind. By being outside, your space can provide a haven to escape from the stresses of everyday responsibilities just for a few minutes. And Suga you know just how precious a few minutes away from our hectic lives can be. Studies have found that restorative environments, like a garden, can do wonders in getting your mind back on track and energized. Spending just 20-30 minutes outside gardening has been shown to improve your symptoms of stress and reduce cortisol levels, the natural chemical found in your body that causes stress. Being outside relieves muscle tension and helps reduce stress. And Honey look…your outdoor living space can be significantly quieter than any other area of your home and that alone brings you peace!
3. Get Motivated by being Active Outdoors
Nature and weather can motivate us to be active, which is key in our physical well-being. Research has shown that engaging in outdoor activities can reduce blood pressure and high heart rate. Y’all know that heart and blood pressure issues run DEEP in the African-American community! Exercising around any outdoor environment, especially water has proven to be very relaxing and a self-esteem booster. Don’t go out there in the rain now suga! be mindful of the weather!
If you have been looking for an escape for the past year, your outdoor living space is the place to be honey! Allow yourself to connect with nature and find your inner peace. Get up and get outside suga!
Author: Tara L Paige
Contributor : Amelie Rousseve
Editor : Akelia Campbell