Go Outside and Play!

Ivy, one of my prior dogs, was the poster child for living in the moment.

Even in her last year as a sixteen year-old dog, I’d still find her rolling around in the grass, completely immersed in her experience. Looking like the happiest creature on the planet, she’d wiggle around on her back, paws up in the air, enjoying the feel of the sun and the cool grass.

Refusing to act like an old dog, she couldn’t have been having more fun if she was a puppy.

I’ll bet as a kid you had many moments equivalent to what we affectionately called Ivy’s “drop and roll.” I know I did – riding my bike around the block not going anywhere, lying on my back finding shapes in the clouds.

But if you’re like most grown-ups, you’ve long abandoned the pastime of being outside, not doing much of anything.

I’m officially calling for a return of the “go outside and get some fresh air” habit!

If your initial reaction is, “I’d love to but don’t have time,” consider that just a few outdoor mini-breaks can recharge your batteries, increase your productivity, and reduce stress. That’s quite a return on a small time investment.

And while it might not be realistic for you to run outside in the middle of the day and roll in the grass (if it is, go for it!), there are many other ways to reap your benefits.

Stand outside for 3-5 minutes and soak up the warmth of the sun or enjoy a breeze. Find a tree, lean your head against the cool bark and take five deep breaths. If you don’t care who’s watching, wrap your arms around the tree trunk and give it a hug! If you watch your kids play sports, find a grassy patch during a break, lie down, and relax for a few minutes. Smell the grass, feel the air, and remember what it was like to go outside and play.

Even when your day is jam-packed from the moment you get up until your head hits the pillow, challenge yourself to find one simple way to bring a few minutes of the outdoors into your life.

I’m quite certain it’s a big part of what kept Ivy happy and young at heart, and while I can’t promise you’ll feel like a puppy, you might just find you’re living your day the way you want to live your life.

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