What is Eat Outside Day?
Eat Outside Day takes place on August 31st. As the name implies, it is a day on which you can eat outside. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why should there be a day for something that you can do at any time of the year? While it is true that you can eat outside, whether at a table outside a restaurant, on a plaid colored blanket at the park, or at a cookout, the reality is that this doesn’t happen as much as we want it. The real deal is that most people are too busy with the hustle and bustle of daily life to set aside an hour or two to simply eat outside.
By intentionally making this an official day, it gives people intention and motivation. It gives people space to schedule this into their day. And it lets people reflect on the importance of eating outside, particularly today during a pandemic. Because of the pandemic, many of us haven’t seen the inside of a restaurant in a year. Some of us have just now started frequenting restaurants and bars after a year of only opting for curbside pickup and delivery services. And during a time when many lives continue to suffer due to Covid-19, appreciating nature outside in all in its elements is really the most important thing of all.
3 Reasons Why Eat Outside Day is Important
1. Fresh Air
The first reason why it is important to indulge in a favorite meal outside is simply for the fresh air. Since most of us spend much of our time indoors, in an air-conditioned room, we are simply not getting the fresh air that our bodies need and crave. Furthermore, even when we are indoors doing shopping or in a semi-crowded room, you can bet that we have a mask on because of Covid-19. Because of this extraordinary situation, our bodies require fresh air even more to keep healthy.
Fresh air can help you maintain good health both physically and emotionally. It benefits the physical body by allowing you to clean your lungs, allow food to digest better, and strengthen the immune system. It also makes you calmer and more at peace, leading to a more stable, improved blood pressure and heart beat, as well as better place emotionally [source].
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2. Freedom of Movement
How many times have you eaten lunch at your desk in your office? And how did you feel after eating while sitting down, and then going back to work? I bet that you felt pretty sluggish, tired, and reluctant after the lunch hour was up. And that is exactly why the second half of the work day is the hardest to get through. It is when you start to feel tired, unmotivated, and bored. Because your serotonin levels are reduced, along with the quality and quantity of the food consumed, your mood, sleep cycles, and digestive patterns are affected [source].
One way to combat this is by allowing your body to go outside in the fresh air and move. During your lunch break, instead of staying at your desk, get up and go outside. While you are outside eating, stretch your limbs from your fingers to your toes. Do some basic stretching exercises. Roll your shoulders back. As you breathe in and breathe out, let the fresh air give every one of your limbs new life. By letting yourself move in the fresh air, you are able to digest your food better, letting your body rejuvenate in the sunshine and fresh air so that you can go back to work with a happier and more motivated mindset.
3. Focus on Nature
And finally, when you eat outside, allow yourself to focus on nature. Don’t think about work. Don’t stress about what you have or haven’t accomplished. Instead, let yourself feel and live in that moment. Feel the sun as it caresses your cheeks. Feel the gentle zephyr of the wind in your hair. Raise your face to the calming blue sky, look up at the clouds, and let yourself be happy to be alive. In other words, be one with nature.
By being one with nature, you can help to reduce work related stress. But it is more than that. The last time you were out in nature, did you feel as if a transformation was taking place? At least, when I am out in nature, I feel the worries, anger, and sadness leave my body. I feel a calm equilibrium wash over me, bringing me back to ground zero. It is as if nature is a warm, nurturing figure, holding out its arms for a hug and letting all the bad spill out while pouring the good back in. That is how being in nature feels like to me.
So, Eat Outside Day is pretty important because it gives you the opportunity to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine, while moving surrounded by all the glory of nature. So, today, when you have lunch, take it outside, and let yourself enjoy every bite. But most importantly, open up all of your senses to nature — watch the trees swaying in the breeze, listen to the birds chirping in the distance, smell the pine trees, and feel the prickly grass beneath your toes.
It is even more important today that we appreciate the beauty around us. By doing so, we are strengthening our resolve and immune system, as well as replenishing the goblet of hope so that we can defeat Covid-19.