Those who know me certainly wouldn’t describe me as an ‘outdoors’ person. In fact, I could probably best be described as an ‘indoor person’. I don’t like it if it is too hot or cold, I like a comfortable chair to sit on and all the benefits of indoor plumbing. I’d rather stay home than go on a camping holiday!
Growing up and living in Australia for most of my life, I took for granted ready access to sunlight and the outdoors throughout the year. One of the biggest challenges I have discovered living in the UK is the weather. If you stayed inside every time, it rained you wouldn’t leave the house for months!
Recently we had the opportunity to have a short family break at a lovely cottage in Cornwall. We even had the chance to take our dog with us for the first time. We all had such a lovely time. The beautiful countryside and outdoors made such a huge difference. Yes, it was still cold, days were short, and the nights were still long. It was such a pleasure to be able to spend time all together in the outdoors and fresh air.
There are so many benefits to the outdoors, some of which include:
- Boosting your energy, mood, and immune system
- Increased opportunities for exercise such as walking
- Your vision can benefit too when you have a break from screen time.
- Sunlight boosts your Vitamin D, and may also help with pain
Sometimes we forget that so many people living in care homes can’t readily access the outdoors and enjoy its immense benefits. Whether this is due to lack of an outdoor space or access to the outdoors (e.g. an inner city location) physical limitations or difficulties finding an accessible outdoor space. If physically helping someone in your care to access the outdoors isn’t possible, maybe you can help to bring the outdoors inside to them using the five senses – sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. Let’s help everyone to enjoy and remember the benefits of the outdoors.