Boost Your Mood with Just 20 Minutes in Nature

It's (finally!) summer in Vancouver. We live in such a beautiful city with plenty of public parks, beautiful mountains, beaches, and a peaceful shoreline surrounding us. When the sun's out in Vancouver, look outside: we've sure got it good. What better excuse to take a break from your day and get outside! You'll feel better for it too.

Research shows that just 20 minutes outside in nature each day can boost your mood.

In one study, taking a walk in nature reduced symptoms of depression for 71% of participants! 

Take a look at the infographic from Happify below (I love these!) and discover how spending time in nature can positively impact mental and physical health for you and your family.

Sure, you may not have the time (or the desire) every day to get out into the woods for a hike, but given all the green space in and around Vancouver, you more than likely have a lovely park (maybe even oceanside or lakeside) to enjoy nearby.  A quick walk after dinner, in the morning, or at lunch can make such a difference to your overall sense of wellbeing.

I spend some days working in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside area. It's a very urban area, but there are some great parks only blocks away. I'll often take a 20-minute walk as part of my lunch break and boy do I feel better for it. The time in nature helps me feel more positive and gives me an energy boost (especially helpful in battling that post-lunch slump). I feel like this is one of those workday hacks that exponentially improves my quality of life. If you haven't tried making a point of this before, I encourage you to fit a bit of nature into your day. Make it work with your busy life -- break away during your workday, or bring your kids, partner, pet for an evening walk, and you'll all benefit. Get outside, enjoy nature, and feel better for it.