What a treat the weather has been this week! We’ve certainly been blessed by a bountiful spring so far and I feel rather blessed remembering past seasons when I was still wearing boots to work at this time of the year. An early spring was certainly welcome!
When spring begins to awaken, be it early or be it late, my mind turns to all the outdoor activities that were put on hold during the colder months of the year. When can I eat on the patio? When can I walk barefoot in the grass (when will I even see the grass?!)? When will I not have to wear this jacket? When will it be feasible for me to go on a walk over my lunch break without frostbiting my nose?
If there’s one thing I miss during winter (because, yes, I do love winter), it’s my daily ritual of a lunch break walk. When it starts warming up, I always try to carve out 15-20 minutes in which I can get outside and reset. Even if I have to bundle up a bit, as soon as it’s warm enough to walk the nearby paths without trudging through feet of snow and ice or battling a bitter wind, I’m game!
If you’ve been to Lake Pointe or even called the office, you may be familiar with me… fixture of the front desk, doing my best to help coordinate schedules, order products, answer the phone, print off that article, send out those records, collect that copay, and find that chart. I jokingly call it “the job of interruptions” knowing I’m most likely to have all the phone lines ringing at once and only when I’m trying to help someone in office. My colleagues are used to my light-hearted question: “Does anyone know what I was doing?” and know from experience that if I don’t write it down, it may not get done…. hold on, I have to take this call…..
I anticipate the connections, the constant ebb and flow, the daily tasks, all of it combining (not always seamlessly, but we try!) to keep the day moving forward. But I find I’m my best self when I get a moment in the middle of it all to just breathe.
For so many of us, schedules, conversations, tasks, and relationships whirling madly around us, a few moments of quiet reflection, a walk in the sun, a few minutes of reading or prayer seem an awful lot like a luxury. But you are the only one holding the reins on that Google Calendar! Ready to hear that phone ping a reminder for an appointment you want to keep? Start scheduling in some fresh air.
That’s why I try my hardest to get in a walk during my shift, even if it’s less than 10 minutes, every day that I can. I find the fresh air invigorating, grounding, relaxing, and I always come back to the office refreshed and ready for what’s next. If my day’s been especially busy (or if I’ve been especially crabby… oops), I have come to recognize that I will benefit more from the time out in the fresh air than if I power through that break or spend it inside. It seems like common sense that stepping away and getting out and breathing fresh air and feeling the sunshine would help me reset, but it also turns out that science backs up the concept that fresh air is beneficial for everything from mental health to digestion. So a quick walk after lunch not only keeps my mind focused and relaxed, but helps me break down that tuna salad and greens I just scarfed down.
Urmet Seepter put together a quick, fun article on goodrelaxation.com giving us 6 health benefits of fresh air including improvements to digestion, heart health, mental health, immunity, and more. Give it a quick read by clicking here before stepping away from the computer for a few minutes outside… I’m sure you’ll feel better for it.