Talk a walk, ride a bike, or go to the beach.
In some parts of the country there seems to be two seasons – freezing winters and boiling summers.
Nice weather can be hard to come by, so take advantage of it and get outdoors.
First and foremost, talk a walk. After slipping and sliding your way down the sidewalk in the winter and practically melting during the dog days of summer, a simple walk in balmy weather is sheer pleasure and good exercise. All you need to do is slip on your shoes.
If you want to cover more ground and have the equipment, take a bike ride. It’s not just for kids. Everyone loves riding a bike once they hop back on and have the hang of it again.
The beach. What’s better than the feeling of warm sand between your toes? There’s also the soothing sound of the waves, the opportunity to skip a rock or two, find shells and, at the right time and place, enjoy a peaceful sunset that takes you far away from smartphones and computers. Just sitting on a bench on a nice day is a relatively rare pleasure.
Remember those lonesome frostbitten swings at the local playground? Jump to it and see how high you can go. And don't forget the slide and the monkey bars. Being able to take the family to the local playground again is one of those things you forget until the weather is nice enough to get active and not freeze or overheat. It’s a great gathering place for friends.
Go fly a kite. There is such a spectacular range of kites these days in all shapes and sizes. Think you’re too old?
Adults hold kit competitions all the time, and the more sophisticated ones fly like airplanes, controls and all.
Garden. Mankind was meant to crawl around in the dirt. In fact, it can get rid of your blues. There’s a natural antidepressant in soil, a microbe called Mycobacterium vaccae that mimics the effects of antidepressants that stimulate serotonin production.
“Gardeners inhale the bacteria, have topical contact with it and get it into their bloodstreams when there is a cut or other pathway for infection,” says Gardening Know How. “The natural effects of the soil bacteria antidepressant can be felt for up to 3 weeks if… experiments with rats are any indication. So get out and play in the dirt and improve your mood and your life.”
Get some sidewalk chalk and put on an art show for the neighborhood. You’ll never run out of “canvas,” the neighborhood will be more cheery, and you can do it again after every time it rains.
If you’re stuck inside on a nice day, open a window to get some airflow going, take your lunch outside (or your work), take a break to sit on a bench and eat a popsicle. Have an outdoor meeting.
Real Simple makes it easy to think of things to do on a nice day, with a 50 item check list. They include everything from visiting a farm to see the animals to looking for four-leaf clovers. They’re even categorized: the great outdoors, nostalgic, eat and drink, and just because.
For example, watch bumble bees work a garden – just because. Or listen to the birds singing. How about getting caught in a warm spring shower on purpose?
“A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves,” said French novelist Marcel Proust.
June 16, 2016
Janet O’Dell, RN