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Episode 43: Take It Outside.

Description: "I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work." —Frank Lloyd Wright

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Transcription: Hi, and welcome to episode 43 of Self-Care for Educators. I am your host, Tina Boogren. This week's invitation is simple. I want you to eat outside this week. You can eat outside once. You can eat outside every day. It doesn't matter. I just want you to commit to eating outside at least once this week.

I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that you've got at least a day where the weather cooperates to be able to do this. I know here in Denver, we are turning the corner. It actually feels like spring is here to stay. And one of the sure signs of spring is just spending more time outside. I love, love, love, love to go out, to eat and sit outside on patios or, you know, even in the age of COVID, on a picnic table out in the parking lot.

If given the choice between sitting indoors and outdoors, as long as the weather permits, I will always choose outdoors. I will always choose outdoors, but it doesn't have to be a restaurant. Right? We can take our morning coffee or a breakfast at home outside. If we're used to out of habit, just getting up and sitting on the couch to drink our coffee, let's nudge ourselves to sit outside this week. Maybe over our lunch period, we're going to meet a colleague or take some students, or just simply get a little alone time and just take our lunch and just sit outside. Maybe we're going to have a picnic at dinner or do potluck style, meet friends in a park and have dinner in the park outside one time ...

This week, there's no right or wrong. I just want you to play around with this. There's actually a lot of research that supports why this is good for us. So number one, we know that being outside in general ... such a great stress reducer. We've talked before about the power of taking walks outside and getting that vitamin D, that sunshine ... That we know when we do this, when we actually get out into nature, that we have less stress and more positive emotions and feelings. We also know that being outside is a mood booster, which what a great thing. If we can incorporate this into the work day, we know that, gosh ... If we can just get outside and get that sunshine on our face or just the fresh air, we just ... our mood is enhanced, which is a great thing. Especially during the work week, we also know that being outside can improve our attention, memory, and concentration.

A lot of these studies came out when we were thinking about how can we get students, for safety reasons, to do more learning outside. So, that notion of improving attention, memory, and concentration just by being outdoors also pertains to eating our lunch outside. Yay. We know that the, just that overall feeling of moving away from our desk away from the fluorescent lighting, just feeling kind of trapped inside everything, just kind of changes when we can just step outside. It doesn't take any longer. I mean, we have just a couple more steps to get outside. It just can do so much for our mental health. So, that's what I want you to play around with this week. I want you to please, please, please commit to having at least one meal outside.

If you really want to up your game, maybe you commit to having one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner outside. Maybe you decide you're going to have one meal by yourself outside, one meal with your family outside, and one meal with friends. You guys are so creative. You will figure out the best way to do this, but I hope that it just feels like a really inviting thing to do to just make that commitment and take your food or take your drink, or just even take a break and just get yourself out side this week.

A huge thank you to Brooke for making this happen. Thank you so much Solution Tree and Marzano Resources for this job I get to do. And, as always thank you to you, my bad-ass Self-Care Squad. I'll see outside!

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