Reach into the Future

Our lockdown is gradually lifting here in Denmark, and my friends in Israel tell me they’re getting close to normal after a massive vaccination effort. In many places around the world, vaccinations are proceeding and lockdowns are having effect.

What will you do when restrictions are lifted? Think of something you want to do and can’t do now. Close your eyes and imaging yourself involved in that activity. Some people are able to visualize the activity, others can imagine hearing the sounds or feeling the physical sensations. You can use this method to harvest energy from the future to re-energize yourself while we all wait for the things we can’t do now.

Make Time for Two Hours Outside

Were you outdoors for a walk this weekend? The research is piling up showing that spending time outside in natural surroundings is associated with lower levels of stress hormones, less anxiety, less depression and even improved cognitive ability.

A children’s hospital in the US has a question on their discharge questionnaire: Does the child have access to outdoors and green spaces? If not, they are offered to take part in a nature program. Clinical trials show that this program increases the children’s health and decreases the parents’ stress levels.

Spending two hours per week walking in nature gives a significant improvement in health and subjective well-being. If you like numbers, a study shows that the effect increases with more time outside, reaching the maximum at 5 hours outdoors per week. That half an hour on workdays and Saturday, and one two-hour walk on Sunday. For everyone without a significant mobility impairment, that is completely achievable.

Make sure you get your two hours outside every week. That gives you the energy to work on anything else you need to change in your life.

Work outside

I’ll be doing some outside work at our summer cottage this weekend. There are always things to do in preparation for winter. If you live somewhere with a yard or a garden, spend some time doing work outside this weekend. If you don’t have an outside area that is your responsibility, pick up a trash bag and clean up an area close to where you live.

Physical tasks like raking leaves, chopping firewood, or felling trees gives you a feeling of satisfaction that intellectual work on your computer doesn’t. Do something with your body this weekend to start next week with a positive feeling of accomplishment.