This is my happy place

I cannot believe it is April. Aside from a few great moments in March I'm glad to see it go. I spent half the month sick and I'm ready for a fresh start. The Spring weather in Pensacola is gorgeous and our highs this week are right around 70.

Perfect time to be outside and soak up some Vitamin D! I took an hour between my classes yesterday to go for a 3 mile hike. No matter how stressed I am or chaotic my life seems I feel completely centered again after spending time outside. Research has found being outside correlates with a more positive mood. Exercising outside reduces cortisol (stress hormone) levels more than exercising inside, and there is a growing amount of research showing that sunlight can have a direct impact on mood. Winning.

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Our lives are designed now that many of us spend most of the time indoors. One of the biggest reasons why I love running is because it gets me the hell out of the house. There are days where I work from home and that may be the only substantial period of time I spend outside. When the weather is nice I try to eat most of my meals outside. When I worked in an office for years I'd always take my lunch breaks to eat in my car (if there wasn't any outdoor seating available) and walk around for a bit.

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With April being one of the most gorgeous months of the year for many of us I'm challenging everyone reading this to try to spend a few minutes outside, doing nothing, every day. Sit on the porch, go for a walk, read a book in your backyard - just try to take advantage of the free therapy.

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What is your 'happy place'?