Someone once told me that if I don’t have 5 minutes to spend outside in nature, then I need at least 10. I laughed when they said it…I’m a busy business person with a seemingly endless list of projects. How can I possibly take time away from my work? But then I learned the truth…studies show that spending time out in nature can reduce stress, improve mood, and even have a positive impact on my physical health. The translation? By spending time outside, I could improve my well being. Then by improving my well being, I could be even better at my job. It’s a win-win.

If you’re like me, you don’t always know how to spend your time outside. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of fun activities for you and your family to try. You’ll thank me later 😉

1. Have a Picnic

Whether in your backyard, or at your local park, plan a meal that can be eaten outside. You can keep it simple with classics like chips and PB&J’s, support a local business by ordering take-out (it’s not cheating!), or fire up your BBQ. You don’t have to have guests over to try out that new recipe you’ve been eyeing or break out the special platters; make an ordinary day extraordinary. You and your family deserve it!


2. Get Creative

When it comes to artistic activities such as painting, crafts, writing, and playing instruments, people tend not to do them if they’re afraid they won’t be any “good” at it. Forget about being “good”. Think of something creative that you’ve always wanted to do, and bring it outside. Need inspiration? Look around you. Paint a tree. Use grass, twigs, and leaves to make a nature collage. Write a bad poem about the sky. Consider this a lesson in letting go of your perfectionism. Do it for the sake of fun, not for the sake of doing well or being productive.


3. Go Exploring

Whether its safe to explore your local hiking trail, or you’d prefer to stick to your backyard, allow your curiosity to guide you as you walk mindfully around. Get to know every tree, flower, and even weed. See how many birds and other critters you can observe. Pick up things like rocks and twigs, hold them in your hand, focusing on their unique textures. (Tip: In Upper Saucon Township, they turned the old railroad tracks into a beautiful walking trail!)


4. Take Your Work-Out Outdoors

You don’t need Gym-Equipment to exercise. Obvious outdoor exercises include running and biking, but don’t limit yourself to those options. Using a blanket or a mat, you can try yoga or pilates or even just stretch. You can do push-ups and crunches, jumping jacks and jumping rope. You can dance, or play a sport with your family. The options are as endless as your imagination (or a quick google search).

5. Play a Lawn Game

You don’t have to save lawn games for special occasions, and most of them can actually be played solo. Some popular games include bocce, ladder ball, corn hole, disc golf, and quoits. If you don’t own one of these, see what materials you have lying around the house and make it yourself. If you have kids, ask them to help you.


6. Take Game Night Outdoors

Lawn games aren’t the only genre of games you can play outside. Bring out your board games or a deck of cards, and play them outside on the patio or on a blanket.


7. Read

Kick back and relax with a magazine or book. When was the last time you read something unrelated to work or education? Pick something purely for the sake of entertainment. Not willing to dedicate yourself to a whole book? Nobody says you can’t just skim your favorite chapters.