There are numerous benefits to being outside and around nature. Want to experience them for yourself? Step outside for 10 minutes a day this week and watch your mood shift. Being in nature doesn’t mean you have to be at the ocean or in the mountains, you can easily create a joyful outdoor space at home.
When we moved into our first home nearly three years ago, I knew I wanted to make the outside a special spot. During the warm months, my favorite thing to do is eat meals outside and just BE outside. As I have learned more and more about overall health and wellness, I have learned that it is not just a coincidence that I love to be outdoors and feel a bit happier when the sun is shining, there are studies that show our mood shifts to the positive side when we are around nature.
Today’s post shares a few tips I keep in mind when creating a truly joyful outdoor space!
Think about the space you have and how you want it to function
This can be done in most living situations. In the apartments we lived in, we always made sure we had a table and chairs outside because we love eating outside. Now that we have a little more room, we have the front porch arranged in a way that allows for conversation, people watching and relaxing. The back area has a table that allows for many people to gather round for a meal.
Choose items you LOVE
While this may sound like a no brainer, I find myself needing to consciously make a choice to only pick an item that I enjoy (even for towels, chair cushions, etc) rather than something that will simply fill the space. This does take a little longer than simply picking the thing at the store that is there the first time you go, but I have found that it is SO worth the wait to find those special things to create your outside space.
Include plants (especially plants you enjoy!)
I used to share that I was far from a green thumb, but I have learned that gardening is lots of trial and error and being ok with a little failure. I learn new things about plants, my garden and gardening in general every single year, and it makes my plants do a little better the following year.
I love planting things that have a purpose – to eat! In Denver, we had a simple herb garden on our balcony, last year, we had a large garden bed in our backyard, and this year we only have herbs in pots and one tomato plant in pots as we wait for our raised garden bed to be built. Planting flowers is also something that totally gives a plain patio or outside space a ton of charm. Many people plant flowers around Mother’s Day in May, but you can plant things any time of year. If you talk to your local garden center, they can share information about plants that do well in different seasons, amounts of sunlight, etc etc.