As the weather gets colder and the rain falls, more and more options to go outside with people we love seem less appealing. This is unfortunate because an article posted by Time said that spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, is one of the fastest ways to improve your health and happiness. It’s even been shown to lower stress, blood pressure, and heart rate while encouraging physical activity and buoying mood and mental health. According to the research published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, spending just 20 minutes in a park — even if you don’t exercise while you’re there — is enough to improve well-being.
Lately, my days are filled with more rain and darkness than the sun, which has affected my mood. Situations like these can make people focus on the negative or, worse: accept the lethargic state that their environment has created. In my prior blog posts, I talked about the things I do to get myself on track, but I did not touch on the importance of human interactions. Creating time that allows the mind to wander or get lost in creativity can be enhanced when friends are added to the equation.
There are two things I have adopted with friends that help my wellness and keep me socially distanced.
A Book Club
Having a virtual book club is not only a habit that will help you in the long run with reading and communication, but they also provide a safe place for people to express how they feel. New perspectives are told by books that uncover ideas about life and beyond, then talking about how they relate to us, mostly. We are currently reading the alchemist Paulo Coelho, and just by the first few sessions, I have new ideas and motivation I take with me every day. And because I am reading with my friends, I notice I am more engaged and encouraged to read more than I ever have.
Make some music.
Being a rapper was never in my cars but freestyling around with friends, maybe. It’s a creative outlet that people can collaborate in, regardless of skill or location. We live in a heavy world, and although it is essential to stay informed and educated in the 21st-century, people must have times where they can let their guard down and act as blissfully ignorant as they want. Music, to me, is one of these places. Like many things, it is about the journey rather than the product, but the potential to create music that sounds pretty good can also be a welcomed surprise.