I love being outside. It is one of the things, outside of artistic endeavors, that really makes me happy. Sunshine is good for the body and the soul. I started listening to a new podcast recently called, “Now What Did We Learn?” hosted by Ross Everett and Andrew Heder. I have so far only listened to one full episode but have the rest in my queue. I listened to the first episode, where they were discussing this idea of happiness. They discuss what happiness is and how we choose it. At one point, they mention a study that concluded if a person goes outside and puts their palms up for like 10 or 12 minutes, this person would get the necessary Vitamin D for the day and be infinitely happier. I have not been able to run across this study (okay, I only looked for a few minutes) but I have read other articles with similar findings. I have read that if a person goes outside for merely 30 minutes a day, this person will sleep better, have greater energy, have better overall health, have less depression, and have less stress. Now, if there was even a slight opportunity to receive these benefits, would you not take that risk? I would. In fact, I do – as often and for as long as possible. I do advise, however, using sunscreen and taking the necessary precautions.
I grew up in a household where being in the outdoors was valued. My parents love to camp and still go camping during the summer, when possible. As kids, we helped with the garden and other chores outside and played extensively outside. I loved jumping on the trampoline, riding my bike, having picnics, going on walks/hikes, swimming, and just being outside. When my siblings and I go home, we often eat in the sunroom and visit on the front porch. I know of people that would rather not spend time outdoors and it astounds me. I currently live in an area of town where I am within walking/biking distance to downtown and to the advantages that brings. I also live within walking/biking distance to some fabulous parks. It is like stepping out of the city. My favorite park is this nature park, with pathways to walk and observe birds, ducks, geese, deer, and all sorts of different wildlife. It is amazing that this exists right within the city. It makes me a little less homesick for country living when I am able to spend time there.
Today, I had the most relaxing day. I worked for about 3 hours (yay) and then was able to come home and take advantage of the sunshine. I started with sitting on my patio and eating my lunch, while reading my book. I eventually ended up sprawled on my blanket in the grass, with my pillow and book. I think that everyone needs a day like this regularly to rejuvenate body and soul. I have had no real worries today, I stayed away from the things that typically cause me stress, and I just existed in the moment. I felt the sunshine on my arms, legs, and face and was just happy. I finished my book, started a new one, and just reflected a lot. Life does not have to be go, go, go all the time. I think that a big part of this life is meant for us to just enjoy and to revel in the beauty of each day we are given. For each day truly is a gift.
One final parting comment. I am doing a giveaway for a uniquely crafted name art. It is made by me and will be done on a canvas. The deal is for every idea for a post I am sent between now and next Friday at 11:59PM, you will get one entry into the drawing. These ideas can be posted over at Facebook, by comments here, or by sending them through the contact me link on this blog. No idea is off limits. Some of them may require me to do a little research and thought, but I welcome all ideas. I will also give one entry for every new follower – either on the Facebook page or on this blog. So, send the ideas, share the blog, and share the love of sunshine and being happy.
Peace and Love (and Much Happiness),
The Mad Pianist