December 28, 2021

In the winter, it’s easy to feel sluggish. Fight the blahs with these outside activities, or at least a change of scenery.

Finding ways to cope with everyday stress is challenging enough, but the winter blues can make it feel especially difficult. 

Try these 4 tips and outdoor activities to bring some fresh air into your life.

1. Let the sun shine.
Pull back those curtains, open the blinds and let some light in! Sunlight can be a natural mood booster. 

Even better, get outdoors for at least a little bit during winter days. Exposure to the outdoors is good for mental health. Also, sunlight prompts our bodies to produce vitamin D, which plays an important role in our bone health. 

Lifelong outdoor activity is one reason behind the longevity of people who live in the world’s “blue zones” – areas with an especially high number of people who live 100 years or more, and in relatively good health. One wellness expert suggests ways for those of us who do not live in a blue zone and who work fulltime to keep a healthy lifestyle anyway, including building outdoor activity into our days.

2. Take the road less traveled.
While taking walks around the block is great, switch it up and find a new place to explore. Adding variety like this can make it feel like a fun, fresh experience. 

Take a day trip to a place you’ve never visited before, a fresh change of scenery that’s educational, too.

Find a walking buddy to explore someplace new, or just to have someone to chat with while strolling your usual route around your neighborhood. Other ways to freshen a walking habit include using the time to listen to audio books, or checking in with neighbors. There are other benefits of walking, and ways to put a new twist on an existing walking habit, too.

3. Bundle up.
It’s easy to let cold weather bring a stop to outside experiences that normally bring joy. Take advantage of warmer days. And on colder ones, put on a few extra layers, or grab a thermos of tea and head out the door! 

Good walking or running shoes, and other outdoor clothing, support a good exercise habit.

Remember to protect your skin while you’re out there in the cold, dry air. Wear sunglasses and take these steps to also protect your eyes.

4. Watch a sunset.
Making time to enjoy beautiful scenery can help you slow down and refocus. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you when sunset is — or sunrise! One advantage of winter is that, because the sun rises later than in summer, it’s easier to be awake in time to catch the sun coming up. Think about simple moments that bring you joy and make time for them.

Watching the sun set is a simple but beautiful family activity, even if it doesn’t happen every day.

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