For an outdoors team, we sure do spend a lot of our time sat in the office! No matter whether we'd rather be out on the trails, kayaking down any river or climbing our way to the highest peaks, sometimes we've got to be sat at our desks playing solitaire on the computer, discussing the latest Game of Thrones episode and occasionally doing our work.
As many studies have shown there is a significant correlation between time spent outdoors and an improvement in mental health. With this week being Mental Health Awareness week we wanted to focus on what wellbeing means to you and how being out-doors can actually help in-mind.
After discussing this with our outdoor ambassadors Mark and Esmee. We worked as a team to discuss what it is they are doing to embrace the outdoors and improve their own mental health:
Increasing Our Vitamin D
Helping to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate circulating inside our bodies, Vitamin D is an essential part of every diet.
Whilst the summer/spring sun has finally arrived it means we can get our daily dose from simply spending more time outside (with our sunscreen on of course). We've been grabbing 5 minutes in the garden in the morning, 30 minutes' lunch break spent wandering and our 40 minutes after work taking the kids to the park or walking to the shops instead of driving.
In doing so we've found stress levels decrease, focus levels increase and even found a cheeky tan line or two!
Doing As Denmark Do
According to the annual World Happiness Report from the Happiness Research Institute, Denmark is still ranked as the second happiest country in the world.
This year's report focuses on 'Happiness and the community' with a closer look at the past 12 years and how happiness has evolved alongside technologies, social norms, conflicts and government policies.
Taking a leaf out of Denmark's book, there is serious research to show that the Hygge (Hoo-gah) lifestyle has helped to create a warm atmosphere, comfort and the idea that the most important aspect of life is to enjoy it! The Hygge lifestyle also encourages discussions with family and friends in which we aim to discuss the big and small things in life.
For the Danes, Hygge is the pursuit of every day happiness. For the Blacks team, Hygge is the pursuit of every day happiness outdoors.
We have been focusing on making the most of any time spent outdoors. No matter whether that’s walking or cycling to work in the morning, sitting in the park for five minutes on your lunch break or attending the weekly team rounder's match.
Waking Up To Fresh Air!
The morning rush can be a whirlwind of activity and most of us never really feel awake until we arrive at work for the first copy of the day.
To make sure the day gets off to a good start before an hour spent in traffic, we've been taking a moment in the morning to drink our morning cup of coffee, green tea or water outdoors. No matter whether that’s on the flat balcony, out in the garden, outside work or outside the gym.
Fresh air has been known to reduce stress, clear airways and even clear your head when you have a lot going on. Look out for any nature you can see and then see if it’s the same the next day and the next and the next and (well you get it). Did you know you can even buy the stuff in jars now? But maybe it's best to source yours more naturally!
National Walking Month
May is National Walking Month and this year we've been walking our way from Land's End to John O'Groats (874 miles) but all from the comfort of our treadmill.
At first our challenge was simply to complete the distance, on a treadmill but now, being just over 2 weeks into our journey we've found that people are benefiting from 30 minutes away from the desk each day. Giving them a chance to clear their heads, focus on something as simple as walking on a treadmill and get the blood pumping.
Obviously, we understand that not everyone can wack a treadmill out in the middle of the office but just 30 minutes of physical exercise as an added extra to the day has helped to boost office morale to an all-time high (even if its not actually outside).
Here at Blacks it’s the balance of mindfulness and outdoor adventure that helps drives us to be better. We'd love to hear about how you focus your mind, what you do to unwind or how you make time to work on your wellbeing.
Let's raise awareness for mental health outdoors and in mind!