The days are getting shorter, the workload is picking up; we are definitely in the full swing of Fall! While this is my favorite time of the year, I notice my stress level creeping higher and higher. I have always been one to go on a walk outside when I’m stressed, and I’ve always loved walking when it’s windy. Turns out, there’s an actual word for this in Dutch! They call it “Uitwaaien”, which means “outblowing”.
The thought behind Uitwaaien is doing exercise in the wind will quite literally blow out negative thoughts and clear up room for new motivation and positivity. There is an increasing amount of studies to back up the fact that exercising, or even just being, in nature elevates your mood. Add some wind or crisp breeze into the mix and you’ve stepped up your game!
Ways To Add Uitwaaien to your day:
- Bundle up and go for a morning walk when it’s cold
- Stand outside with your bare feet in the grass for 5-10 minutes
- Go for a bike ride and get some wind!
- Take a walk or hike in a park or forest – it doesn’t have to take up a ton of time!
- Find a playground and swing on the swing set (one of my personal favorites)
- Go for a beach walk – the wind at the coast is perfect for this
Spending time in nature each day, even if it’s only a few minutes at a time, can improve not only your mood, but sense of identity and self-worth. One theory for the benefits of nature exposure is that trees and plants release antibacterial and antimicrobial substances, or phytoncides, into the air that help human’s fight off harmful organisms when breathed in. Another is that engaging with nature helps us deactivate part of our prefontal cortex that is responsible for planning and scheming. Regardless of why, spending time being active in nature is great for both our physical and mental health. What are ways you’ll add Uitwaaien into your week?
Written by GUADS staff member Kate with contributions from www.nautil.us