If you Google “going outside makes you happier,” you’ll find about 78 million articles on the topic. Some focus on being in nature, some focus on health, but everyone seems to agree that going outside more would be a good thing for almost everyone.
It’s definitely a good thing for me. So why don’t I do it more? I think I have three main obstacles:
- Weather. It rains a lot here, and while I don’t actually mind rain (I used to like riding my bike in it), a walk does seem less inviting when I know I’ll come back cold and wet.
- Perfectionism. I grew up in the country, and when I think of relaxing “outside” I think of lots of trees, no people, no traffic sounds… You get the picture. Since that isn’t easy to find where I live now, I tend to mentally disparage my local outdoors.
- Getting started. As with everything, there’s that initial effort to get out the door. It isn’t such a big deal if I’m by myself, but if the kids are involved, going for a walk begins to feel like a major undertaking.
But today I have no excuses. (To be fair, I’ve already checked the weather and it looks good here.) Today I’ll aim for 20-30 minutes outside, and I’ll specifically remind myself to enjoy the experience rather than spending the whole time thinking of something else.