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  • Writer's pictureFiona Murray

The Importance of the Outdoors in the Autumn

As the seasons change and the days grow shorter it can be tempting to spend more time indoors, but did you know that this could be unhelpful to your mental health ?

Staying indoors often means being more sedentary and we know that movement and exercise boosts your mood by generating 'feel-good' chemicals in your brain. So even if you don't feel like it try and get outdoors for 30 minutes every day, if it's just a walk around the neighbourhood in your lunch hour it will still be helpful.

How about dusting off that bicycle that is sitting in the shed and using it for errands, the school pick up and a quick spin at the weekend ? The right water-proof clothing and a good set of lights mean that you can use it on all but the worst days.

For the daring there is good research that shows that cold water bathing is an excellent anti-dote to depression. The shock of the cold water releases endo-morphins in the brain giving you a shot of happiness longer lasting and more effective than mood changing medication.

Exercising outdoors, whether it's walking or a forest bathing session with friends is unlikely to be curtailed by even the most stringent lockdown, so why not make some diary dates now and commit to keeping up with your plan in the great outdoors ?

You can't beat eating outdoors either so with Autumn festivals on the horizon think about taking mealtimes outdoors, wrap up around the barbecue, toast marshmallows over the embers of that Autumn bonfire and see if it doesn't boost your mood.

Wrap up, drape a rug over a chair, make a firepit and don't forget ''Walk and Talk' sessions for those worries that won't go away might be fun when they include kicking through piles of leaves in the woods !

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