The Cure for Depression: Get Outside

I can’t believe I plan on spending an entire post on this obvious tip, but …I can count on two fingers the number of times I walked around in Mother Nature last week. Clearly, some of us are not practicing what we preach.

Therefore, I’m totes going to push the advantages of getting outside:

  1. Nature’s pretty. This prettiness helps instill happiness and inspirational thoughts that just might lead to award-winning poetry (though, you may want to only tell those poems to yourself).
  2. It smells nice, if you’re somewhere like a park. I’ve heard you might need air to breathe, too, so bonus!
  3. As a human with skin (unless you have solar urticaria), you need sunlight to soak up UV rays and make Vitamin D.
  4. Happy sun rays combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
  5. Time outside has a buttload of benefits for your mind. We’re talking improved short-term memory, mental energy, concentration, sharper thinking and creativity, and overall mental health.
  6. Walking outdoors lowers depression and perceived stress, according to a study at the University of Michigan.

It’s highly possible your backyard doesn’t look like this. Does that mean that you shouldn’t even bother? NO!

Waaay back a full year ago when I started talking to my counselor, she gave me this one direction: “Get outside.”

“But… but, the kids…” (Me, making excuses.)

“No.” (Her, the one paid to help me.) “Tell your husband that I said to drop everything and go outside. Grab some food from McDonald’s or something, go to a park, and just sit out there.”

And she was right.

I don’t care if you slip yourself out the side door at lunchtime, if you sneak out before kids are awake, if you walk home because you missed the bus, or if you decide to go camping and sleep all night where our ancestors did -just grab some time and DO IT.

Since we’re about starting small, just tell yourself you’re going to hang out for a few minutes. Next, try 15. Ideally, we’ll work up to 30 minutes as a minimum daily exposure. Who knows? Maybe you’ll feel so inspired we’ll have to drag you back to cavedom.

If you’re fair-skinned and/or burn easily, put on some sunscreen. Otherwise, go to it with my blessing.

Of all the expensive, time-consuming, stressful things people consider for helping with mental issues; this is the best because it’s FREE.

Seriously, just look at that. What are you waiting for?

Becca Tapert
Jannis Brandt


*Chelsea Owens is not a licensed anything, except a Class D driver in her home state, and shares all information and advice from personal experience and research.

36 thoughts on “The Cure for Depression: Get Outside

  1. I can’t wait for the “Great Thaw” in order to get outside to walk. I love the park down the street from me, but it’s just too damn bitter out there now. Hopefully, by next month, I’ll be out there and enjoying the fresh air and nature!! Fingers crossed! 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Rain no problem – rain blowing in your face is feeling nature. Hang the washing outside – garden or balcony, them pause and listen to the birds or watch the bees on your flowers. Even the tiniest space can have a tub of plants.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How right you are, and I used to dance in the rain. Getting older and worrying about a hair-washing schedule takes a lot of fun out of life.

      I like your suggestion of growing plants: bring a bit of nature close to you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I could never figure out why my daughter-in-law feared the rain till I saw her with her long hair ‘done’ in curls – it turned out she normally spent ages straightening her hair and didn’t want rain to make it go curly!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know what happened, but somehow I wasn’t following you even though I always see your name. Sorry, and now I am! And going outside is one of my favorite treatments/drugs for my blues. I’ve been feeling a bit funky for months. Being outside is the best time of my day. Happy Thursday!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Can’t argue with the truth of it, but the execution thereof is much trickier. Not having anyone around me to mutually encourage getting out the door does mean I tend to stay in my little hole. If they’d let me work from home, I could even avoid going out to work…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely right! I’m so with you. It works wonders, absolute wonders. There needs to be a list of everything that one should do each and every day to combat this disease… and yes, I know that if we’re in the deepest darkest place and someone suggests a jolly little walk, I know the reaction (we’ve all been there!) but it does work. Brill post and we all need this drilled into us. X

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Even if my previous job wore me out to the core, I was blessed that the job came with it the opportunity to travel all over my country. I, someone who cannot swim, was drowning in life. Yet, I found myself floating in the middle of the sea, feeling as free and as light as I have never felt before. And then, in the middle of the deep blue sea, I was no longer drowning.

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  7. Excellent post. This is so true! While I’m not a depressive person under normal circumstances,I’ve had some health issues recently which have left me housebound for days and that drives me batty! I will plan my day the night before but between migraines and vertigo I’ve not been able to live my life the way I used to. On really bad days I will force myself and attempt to go outside even if it’s for a short period of time. I get my mail, soak in a few minutes of air and sunshine, and take a little walk.. It’s so helpful. Staying cooped up in the house is enough to push anyone over the edge. So your suggestions are excellent. When I’m too ill to get out I feel worse. So any day where I can leave the confines of my home I embrace it.. In a word where we can order food thru an app and get anything on amazon, it’s important to remember that life is waiting for us beyond the door! Breathe in that fresh air! It lifts your spirits and keeps you smiling!

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