Do you love a lazy Saturday in bed? Maybe staying in your pyjamas all day? Perhaps you like to do the same on Sunday too? And then topped off with a take away and some trashy TV?
While this is ok for some, this approach makes me more sluggish doesn’t help in setting me up for the week ahead.
Here are some ways that the outdoors can help perk you up and leave you jumping into Monday morning full of energy!
– Work Detox –
We have a weekend for a reason. The weekend is there to provide us with rest bite and time to rejuvenate, which should help us to be more effective and efficient when we step into the new week.
If you continuously use your mobile phone without allowing it to charge then, eventually the battery will be empty and the phone will be useless. If you let your battery run to 0%, it will require longer to charge than if you recharge at 50%…
You’re probably wondering where am I going with this? Just bare with me…
This is the theory; the longer you go without recharging yourself, the longer it might take for you to recover. If you work flat out without a break, you will end up with an empty battery.
If you can, getting outdoors forces you to step away from laptop, phone and take some time for you. It removes the temptation to log onto your work emails or chit chat about work; it will encourage you to live in the moment and recharge.
– Feel good –
Being outdoors is proven to make us feel good. Business Insider provides us with several benefits of spending time outdoors:
- Reducing stress
- Improving short-term memory
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improve cognitive function
The outdoors can also help us to significantly improve our mental health. A recent study was by Kings College London. They researched the relationship between nature in cities and momentary wellbeing in real time. They state “being outdoors, seeing trees, hearing birdsongs, seeing the sky and feeling in contact with nature were associated with higher levels of mental wellbeing”.
– Challenge –
If it won’t challenge you, then it won’t change you.
The only certain thing in life is change. If you challenge yourself, then you are prepared for changes in your work and professional life and you learn how to endure potential moments of difficulty or discomfort.
Challenging yourself on a weekend could be anything from getting yourself out of your pyjamas to go shopping or for a walk around the block or training for Everest. Embrace it: you’ll feel better for it.
– Motivation & Productivity –
When I am at the bottom of a mountain I look up every time and think “that is a long way to go, I can’t be arsed, I want to go drink tea and eat cake”.
Exercise and the outdoors will naturally clear the mind, which will enable you to think more clearly both personally and at work. Consequently, you’ll feel more motivated at work or more motivated to make changes for the better. Additionally, your productivity will increase as your clear head will enable more efficient ways of working.
When you push through, your body and mind will “learn” that exercise and the outdoors = reward.
[Update August 2018]
Getting outside doesn’t have to be expensive, here are some budget tips for an outdoor adventure:
- Stay local: do you have a local nature reserve or national park?
- Take a bike: you’d be surprised how many local green spaces are reachable within a 30 minute bike ride. Plus it is free to take your bike
- Share transport: If you’d like to travel further afield, share the car journey with friends or family or get a group ticket on public transport.
- Food: taking your own lunch or snack, plus drinks is a cost effective way to enjoy food outdoors. If you eat at a local cafe (as great as that is), it could set you back between £5-£15 lunch and a drink. For 2 adults and 2 children, this could be as much as £20-£60. This was not affordable when I was younger.
- Free spaces: many national parks and green spaces around the world are free to enter. In addition, many of them have marked walks and spaces to eat your food in comfort. A local area back home is Hardwick Hall Country Park, which has free entry, walks and picnic spots!
Although the points above are all vastly aimed towards the outdoors, it is appreciated that some people can’t get outside so easily. I once suffered with agoraphobia and couldn’t leave the house alone. Do what works for you 🙂
What are you going to do differently this weekend?