By Casey Scott
Spending time outdoors has been proven to improve mental and physical wellbeing. Camping can help to relieve stress, anger, and other negative emotions that we bottle up from daily life. Camping and other outdoor activities can also be beneficial to one’s work life. Nature can help to get us back to a relaxed state of mind, boost our self-esteem, and help us to relieve pressure and relax, which in turn helps to boost creativity, engagement, and productivity. In this article, you’ll find industry experts’ takes on why they recommend spending some time outside.
Improves Your Mood
“One of the best ways to improve your mental health after hours of sitting inside at your desk is to go outside and immerse yourself with nature while getting some vitamin D. Stepping away from your desk and doing an activity outdoors in the sunlight has proven to help boost your serotonin levels and overall mood. Getting adequate amounts of vitamin D has shown to improve the quality of life for those who struggle with depression and anxiety. Not only is getting outside and spending time in nature good for your overall mental health, but also helps to improve focus in the workplace.”
– Gregg Dean, CEO and Co-founder of Layla Sleep
“When we’re being crushed under the pressure of all of our responsibilities, it’s important to take a step back and spend some time out in nature. Being outside not only separates you from your stressors but is a great way to process some of your emotions. Just spending 20-30 minutes outdoors has been proven to improve your overall mood and relieve tension. Studies have even shown that being outside can reduce your cortisol levels, a hormone that is known to cause stress.”
– Adrian Pereira, Co-Founder and CEO of Eco Pea Co.
Lets You Exercise
“Exercise is beneficial to your mental health. No matter what it is, whether it be walking, jogging, gardening, hiking, or playing a sport, being outside gets your body moving. It helps lower your blood pressure, which is an indicator of stress, while releasing endorphins which boost your overall mood. Outdoor activity allows you to feel rejuvenated and re energized both physically and mentally.”
– Matt Gehring, Head of Marketing at Dutch
“Most of us feel that multitasking is an efficient way of getting things done, but we usually perform better when we focus and concentrate on one thing. At the beginning of each day create a to-do list to help you stay focused. If you need more than that, then going outside and taking short breaks is a great way to remain at your best. This is a good place to start when you want to stay in the right mindset for an enjoyable and productive day at work.”
– Hilary Kozak, VP of Marketing at LivSmooth
Fights Anxiety and Depression
“Keeping yourself indoors actually has negative effects on your mental health. It makes it easy to feel like you’re trapped within the 4 walls of your house or office. By simply going outside, you can boost your overall mood. Getting outside boosts your serotonin and endorphin levels while getting necessary vitamin D, all things we need to stay happy and healthy. Just taking even 10 minutes to go outside is a huge step in improving your overall mental health and can help you return to work more productive.”
– Rich Rudzinski, Founder of Drivey.com, Oversight.co and Tragic Media
Finding Your Flow State
“Discovering your flow can help you stay organized and make the most of your time. It helps you reach an optimal state of consciousness when you feel and perform your best. If you’re struggling to find your state of flow, then taking breaks and spending time outside can help you get in tune with nature and find that flow. The biggest tip that helps me find this is to structure similar tasks together. Different tasks require a different level of thinking, so when you work on related tasks, you help your brain focus easier as you go throughout the day. In between switching tasks, step outside for a little while. It really makes a difference when making sure you have what you need to stay productive and avoid burnout.”
– Dhruv Sampat, Founder of Studypaq
“Getting outside during a hard week of work can help regulate your sleep and lead to a stress-free environment and better results in the office. Melatonin production triggers a lack of natural light, which is why most people tend to get tired midafternoon after they’ve spent the day indoors staring at a computer screen. Getting natural lighting outside suppresses melatonin production and regulates the circadian rhythms to align with our body’s internal clock. This is due to the fact that going outside even for a quick stroll can help keep your body alert and awake during the day, making it easier to relax at night and get a good night’s sleep.”
-Megan Jones, VP Community Outreach Manager at NutraSweet Natural
“Spending time outside and getting a breath of fresh air can have a significant impact on your levels of motivation. Most of us are cooped up at our desks for several hours a day; it can be taxing on our mental health and levels of motivation. Outside activities give us a chance to refresh our minds, enjoy ourselves, and get ready to tackle our next task.”
– Jonathan Finegold, Sr. eCommerce Manager at Medcline
Allows You to Appreciate the World
You can get pretty much anything by just sitting at home now. By getting outside and seeing nature your mind will develop a much greater appreciation for the natural beauty this world has to offer. Try to take a break each day and get out and walk around a little bit. You will feel much better working the second half of the day after getting fresh air and sunlight. Try and find a nice hiking trail somewhere near you and make it a goal to hike it every once in a while. Get out and see what nature has to offer before it is too late, you do not want to look back and regret not going outside and seeing the world.
– Himanshu Agarwal, SVP of Solutions at WorkBoard
Can Help Improve Memory
“Recent studies have shown that walks in nature improve short-term memory. There have even been studies of this effect on depressed individuals and the effects have been the same. So, if you feel like your memory has been struggling lately, try walking outside a bit. Find a nice trail through the woods and see how it makes you feel or plan yourself a get away camping trip. If you are feeling really sluggish one day, getting outside and breathing in the fresh air may be just the medicine you need.”
– Mark Jorgensen, Marketing Manager at CTL.net
“There is tons of research out there that shows when people give themselves a chance to take a break and go outside, they see a massive improvement in their creative capacity. It does make sense that allowing yourself to disconnect for a little while and enjoy the great outdoors can recharge your mind and allow yourself to be refreshed and ready for any task that comes your way. Carve out some time during the day to take even a little walk around the neighborhood and see for yourself what it can do to help your brain fire on all cylinders.”
– Brandon Brown, CEO of GRIN
Improves Cognitive Function
“Studies show that spending time in nature can help improve brain function. According to the American Psychological Association, listening to the sounds heard in nature like chirping birds, howling winds, and crashing waves can help with stress reduction and attention restoration. Being in nature has also been shown to increase attention to detail. A study was done on subjects who spent time in nature or urban areas before a test and those who spent time in nature made far less mistakes on the test. Spending your free time in nature is calming and good for the soul, but it can also help you be a better, more efficient worker.”
– Jason Brandt, Customer Success Director at Podopolo
“Spending time outside as a group can be a great way to team build. Setting up a camping corporate outing can be a great way to get your employees out of the office and outside. There are huge health and wellness benefits to spending time outdoors, but it can also be a uniting event for your professional teams. Camping together gets people out of their comfort zones and allows you to see each other from a new perspective. Setting up the tent, building a fire, cooking, hiking are all great experiences for people to spend time and work together in ways that they wouldn’t otherwise. Camping as a team can help to boost employee engagement, encourages collaboration and openness, and will make for a unique experience for everyone.”
– Sanem Ahearn, Head of Marketing at Colorescience
Increase Your Energy
“Are you feeling lethargic or just don’t seem to have the energy you need to get your work done? Instead of settling for a cup of coffee or an unhealthy energy drink, consider taking just 20 minutes to get outside and walk around. It’s been proven that getting outside and being in the open air can give you a boost of energy equal to that of a standard cup of coffee. Even just sitting outside and breathing fresh air can do the trick. Try not to settle for a quick-fix of energy, do you and your body a favor and get outside for a bit!”
– Daniel Kane, Founder of Ridge
It’s clear that getting outside and spending time in nature has many benefits to our personal and professional lives. Whether you’re an experienced camper, hiker, or rock climber or you’re planning your first trip, camping will be a positive experience for both the solo or group camper.
Ensure that on your next camping trip you are able to reap all these benefits of spending time in nature by taking safety precautions and plack plenty of provisions and supplies. With these tips in mind, you will come back feeling refreshed, relaxed, and centered again so you can return to work back and better than before!