Friday, March 28, 2014

4 Reasons to Spend Time Outside

Now that it's officially spring here in Oklahoma, it is time to talk about the great outdoors for a bit.  With winter and all the snow the US got hit with this year, it might be tempting to give up going outside for good!  But fear not, the outdoors can give as much or more than it usually takes away.

For your health...Staying indoors stifles clean, free breathing.  Allergens and bacteria can build up, weakening your immune system.  And don't forget the vitamin D!  For a few circumstances, what's outside (pollen, pollution, etc.) can be worse than what's inside, but by-in-large, stepping outside for a bit will do everyone some good.

For your sanity...Looking at the same floors and walls all day, every day can really do something to your head.  And when my head is messed up, I get cranky, stressed and not a great version of myself.  Stepping outside makes me smile, reminds me there is more to life than whatever I was just fixated on and relaxes everything just a bit.  God's creation - the trees, the sky, the air - is such a stark reminder of beauty, power and divine presence!  

For your creativity...It's proven that creativity is key to success in so many areas of our life.  Especially, children's development.  Just taking a walk around your backyard or office building at lunch has the power to spark thoughts and inspirations that will propel you to a better place.  Furthermore, as a mother of a boy, boys need to spend a lot of time outdoors to express and cultivate their creativity.  NEED, I tell you.  They were designed for it.  Girls benefit greatly too, but boys become menaces without enough of it.  NEED it, they do.

For your independence...For children and adults alike, going outside nudges us to explore, take risks and ultimately stretch our independence a little bit.  We live in very toxic times where individual boundaries and expectations can get really blurry. Spending time outside cultivates a deeper connection with nature, more attention to our beliefs and the ability to go our own way.  Something we all struggle with from time to time.

We are all busier than we'd like to be and worrying more than we know we should, but yet we do it anyway.  This is one area of your life that you can change and make a difference.  Go outside more.  Do it for your family - better yet, do it WITH your family!  It will change you for the better, I promise.

Psalm 104:1-5 

Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved.

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