The Elixir of Outdoors

During these few bright summer weeks in Iceland - most of us immerse ourselves in outdoor activities. We hike mountains, swim in lakes, take the family camping, go fishing, ride our bikes, and the crowberry on top - grill and dine al fresco.

Reuniting with nature after the winter has multiple physical, emotional and intellectual benefits. It reduces anxiety and uplevels our happiness. It’s that moment when we recognize that the plummeting months are distant and we begin to swap our indoor yoga class for an hour walk in nature. The satisfaction from that hour or even 30 minutes goes a long happy way.

 A growing body of research has proven to us the ripple effect of disconnecting with nature and how we jeopardise our wellness. By ignoring the connection with outdoor activities we’re willingly weakening our immune system, draining our focus and decreasing creativity.Creativity alone is what brings our daily lives so much joy and value. When we neglect our screens and pick up outdoor activities our children tend to follow - without commending them to play outside. They’ll feel inspired and encouraged to do what we do and within minutes have forgotten all about smartphones and computer games.

The benefits of our outdoor activities goes way beyond breathing fresh air. Clocking every step or wind sprints might release anxiety and strengthen our physical body, but we’re not feeding our souls when we’re strapped to a heart monitor or distracting ourselves with goals. Letting go of counts and devices allows us to be present in the moment and reap the benefits of that freeing feeling.

As an athlete I’m big on goals and time is crucial when competing in a race but allowing myself to let go of all expectations and my own ambition regularly both elevates and frees my spirit. I read that the average American spends eight hours a day in front of some kind of screen - and therefore have become more stressed and anxious than ever before.

It’s beyond crucial, after the many months people have been cooped up indoors, that we create time to get lost in thought - in nature. We might not be aware of how our body, mind and soul have been affected by the pandemic.

Whatever activity you adopt this season I truly hope you’ll prioritize your selfcare by upleveling your outdoor activities via a nature hike, forest bathing, lake swimming or simply tree hugging - you owe it to yourself to get a little lost in nature.