Go hug a tree. Really. Or at least go outside and enjoy nature. It seemed that when we were kids, we couldn’t wait to get out of the house and explore. But as adulting happens, outdoor-ing only occurs while driving to obligations.
According to a new study, only 26% of Americans spend free time in nature several times a week. And 16 % say they never do.
No wonder Mother Nature can be so cranky…
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) has an official spokesdog named TurfMutt. He “paws it forward” by helping kids and their families learn about the benefits of their family yard and taking care of the green spaces around them. TurfMutt has some tricks and tips for getting a dose of vitamin N(ature) in under 10 minutes.
Play with your dog. A dog’s favorite “room” of the house is your family yard. Take inspiration from your pooch and spend a few minutes outside playing Frisbee or fetch.
Crack Wise-dom: Can we borrow someone’s dog?
Take a walk. Lace up your athletic shoes and head out for a walk around the block or to your neighborhood park. While you’re out, commit to turning off your cell phone and enjoying the natural setting around you (it’s just 10 minutes, after all!).
Crack Wise-dom: We’re not in the best of shape. Perhaps you’ll give us a pass and let us leave the phone on? In case of emergency…
Get your kids moving. A rousing game of tag or hide and seek in the family yard is a great way to counter computer and screen time.
Crack Wise-dom: Hide in the best spot ever and you’ll get some quite time away from those children.
Clean up your outdoor living room. Make simple work of yard chores by breaking them up into smaller chunks. Ten minutes is enough time to put a serious dent in weeding a flower bed, sweeping off the back patio, or picking up debris from your lawn.
Crack Wise-dom: Or put your kids, or someone else’s kids to work. Isn’t that their purpose?
Dine al fresco. Taking a meal outside is one of the easiest – and most nourishing – ways to enjoy the outdoor space around you. Have breakfast with the backyard birds. Lunch at a park near your office. Enjoy your coffee break under a shade tree.
Crack Wise-dom: We’ll pass. We once had a bird crap on our food…
Meet outside. Fresh air can be a catalyst for fresh ideas, so take your next brainstorming session for work outdoors. Need to have a heart-to-heart with your child? Scientists have discovered that communication between parents and children is more connected when conducted outside.
Crack Wise-dom: Perfect. So if our date takes a wrong turn, we can run. Two birds, one stone!
Sit back and relax. Sometimes the best thing to do is absolutely nothing at all. Spend some time in a hammock, spread a blanket out on the grass, or take a meditation break outside to soak up the nature around you.
Crack Wise-dom: Until you wake up with some sketchy character snuggling you…
P.S. We usually wouldn’t take advice from a character named TuffMutt, but since we’re a sucker for dogs…