Four non-woo-woo ways to get the health benefits of being outside when you're stuck inside.
Being outside feels good, right? There's something intrinsic about our kind that is pulled to be outdoors. It's a sense of freedom, release and balance, both mental and physical.
We all do our best to go outside when we can. There is nothing more blissful than resetting from day to night with a walking commute, a stroll through the garden or outdoor happy hour. But sometimes, there are days where the weather, schedules or priorities prevent us from getting our daily dose of nature. We're not being lazy—it's just a reality of modern living. We don't notice the negative effects right away—it's the pattern over time that starts to cause imbalance.
For those days when you can't be outside, we created a guide to access the same measurable health benefits (lowered anxiety and depression, healthier air quality, boosted immunity to name a few). Not just woo-woo, ample scientific research supports these simple methods.
Our biggest piece of advice: build a daily ritual that allows you to connect with nature. Be it a shift in the view from your desk or daily mist of I'm Outside when you need a reset, take a moment, build your pattern and see the positive shift.
Focus on Fractals
Fractals are repeating patterns often found in nature. Leaves, trees, flowers or otherwise, gazing at these patterns can lower stress levels. Simply looking outside a window at a tree or clouds delivers the benefits. If you’re not near a window, looking at pictures or surrounding yourself with houseplants can do the same trick.
Shower for Negative Ions
Ever feel like the air is charged when you’re near a waterfall, at the beach or during a thunderstorm? The feeling is real—and it’s a result of negative ions. These electrically charged particles are found in nature when water collides with itself. Studies have linked negative ions to reducing depression and filtering air impurities. To hack the positive feeling at home? Take a shower. If you can, plug the drain to increase water contact.
Connect Through Scent
Our olfactory senses are closely linked to memory and emotion. Not only can the smell of the forest take you mentally outside, the fragrance released by trees, called phytoncides, has been proven to boost ‘natural killer’ cells which heighten your immune system. They also lower cortisol levels shown to relieve stress and anxiety. Mist I’m Outside daily for your does phytoncides and to build your ritual.
Dose with Vitamin D
Sunshine kickstarts Vitamin D3 production, which helps elevate mood and fight disease. We’re all happier in the sun, right? When you can’t get your dose of from the outdoors, replenishing your Vitamin D stores through diet or oral supplements provides the same benefits (sans the sun damage). Topical Vitamin D applications (like I’m Outside) are also an effective boost.