Self care part 6: Air (fresh)

Self care part 6: Air (fresh)
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In caring for ourselves, we often don’t know where to start.  The acronym of NEW START can help.  The 6th letter stands for:

Air: (fresh)

Many of us lead busy lives, often confined to indoor spaces for extended periods. In our pursuit of professional and personal goals, we may unintentionally neglect a simple yet powerful resource: fresh air.

Fresh air isn’t just about inhaling oxygen; it’s about rejuvenating your mind and spirit. Here’s why it’s such a vital component of mental health:

Stress Reduction: Nature has a remarkable ability to reduce stress levels. When you step outside and breathe in the clean, natural air, your body releases feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters help combat stress and elevate your mood.  For an added benefit, kick off your shoes and enjoy the grass beneath your feet.

Clarity and Focus: Spending time outdoors can enhance your cognitive abilities. The fresh air, free from the distractions of technology and the hustle and bustle of daily life, allows your mind to reset and sharpen its focus. Improved focus can lead to better coping skills. The positive and negative charges found in fresh air help balance the body and mind.

Vitamin D Boost: Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, which is crucial for maintaining a healthy mood. Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with an increased risk of depression. Consider taking a 15 minute walk in the sun and fresh air to improve your mental well-being.

Connection with Nature: Human beings have an inherent connection with nature. Being in natural settings, whether it’s a park, a forest, or by the ocean, can evoke a sense of calm and awe. This connection can be a powerful source of inspiration and emotional healing.

Physical Activity: Fresh air often comes bundled with opportunities for physical activity. Exercise is known to have profound positive effects on mental health. Outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or even a simple game of frisbee can be a practical way to incorporate fresh air and exercise into one’s routine.

Consider spending time in nature and getting fresh air as one of your coping strategies. It’s a simple yet effective way to boost your mental well-being and enhance your overall functioning levels.

In conclusion, getting fresh air isn’t just a pleasant pastime; it’s a prescription for mental health. It can help reduce stress, improve focus, provide essential vitamins, foster a connection with nature, and promote physical activity. By incorporating this practice into your life, you can take a significant step towards achieving better mental health and increased functioning.

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