As a Millennial who was basically raised on technological devices, I’m hooked in and connected basically all of the time. But checking email constantly, scrolling through Facebook, going crazy on Pinterest, and texting friends incessantly is not the way for a simpler life.
I learned several months ago that putting my phone away, shutting my laptop, and getting outside into nature does some pretty great things for relieving stress. I call these ‘bubble moments’. It’s been important for me not just to get away from my desk for 10 minutes, but to get outside, move, and soak up some nature – even when it’s gross and raining.
- The weather helps reset my mood. For me at least, I feel like any type of weather can have a positive effect on mood – if you allow it to. When it’s sunny and warm, I can almost feel the Vitamin D soaking in. If it’s raining, I feel like the fresh rainfall is refreshing me, too. Gray and cloudy days make me feel cozy and at home (I’m a total Seattleite/Pacific Northwesterner). Of course, any weather can also increase a negative mood – you have to make the choice for a positive mindset.
- The contrast of simplicity/complexity is enriching. It takes a focused effort, but I find that my bubble moments are most effective when I leave work and its issues at the office, and choose to really experience nature. When I take a closer look at something as complex as the texture of tree bark, or watch a bee walk through the grass near my feet – appreciating nature for just a few minutes helps me relax, or at very least, calm down.
- It’s a fantastic way to clear my head to better deal with problems. With 21 of us squished into 1,800 square feet, the office space can sometimes feel oppressive. Add into that the craziness of everyday life (server problems, client emergencies, inter-office drama, etc.), and I find it hard to breathe sometimes – especially when it’s all seeming to hit at once. Outside, the air is fresh, clear, and the stress from the office seems farther away. I feel like I return from a 10-minute walk feeling more balanced and clear to deal with issues.
It may just be me, but I feel like getting out and into nature has a profound positive effect on keeping me sane, with its simple-life perks.