It’s no secret that the outdoors and mental health are closely linked, especially for young people. Exercise, sunshine, and fresh air do the mind and body good! The world today can be dark and dreary, and for a lot of young people, it can be very hard to block it out. Depression, anxiety, and mental illness can be tough, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, whatever your age!
If your child is battling some mental health issues and you want to help but aren’t sure how, you’ve come to the right place! Here are some popular outdoor activities to help boost your child’s mental health and quality of life! Follow this guide and help your child live a happier and healthier life, one breath of fresh air at a time!
Sign up for a camp
Sometimes, the best way to help your struggling child is to get them professional help and some access to the outdoors. Consider signing up your child for specialized wilderness camps for troubled youth, to help them push through. These camps offer round-the-clock support, fun activities, and professional help to your troubled kids. Your child can learn to reconnect with themselves and others, and come out stronger afterward! Sending your child to a specialized camp may be tough, but it can be the right call to help them. When it comes to helping your child, there’s no shame in asking for a professional helping hand!
Get them interested in exercise
If a specialized camp is not in your family’s cards, there are other ways to help the outdoors help your child. One way to get your child out of the house and boost their mental health is to get them interested in exercise. Try not to limit them to a particular sport or group activity, and focus on nudging them to simply move their bodies. Exercise and fresh air help to calm the mind and release healthy endorphins and mood boosters. Start off with simple forms of exercise, like walking, going for a run, or doing outdoor yoga. Remember to work with your child, to meet them halfway, and to support them.
Get them interested in being outside
If exercise and movement are not really your child’s forte, then you need to get them interested in being outside in other ways. Just a few hours in the sun or surrounded by plants is a great way to boost your child’s mood and mental health. Start by trying to get them to do the things they love and enjoy or other fun activities outside instead of inside. Whether they like to read, do arts and crafts, or play mobile games, encourage them to take their hobbies outside. Show them that it’s not so bad being outside, and in time, they will learn to appreciate it and reap the rewards!
Appeal to their interests
A lot of the time, troubled children and teens need more of a compromise to do what they’re afraid of. If your child needs to be outside but doesn’t want to, you need to appeal to their interests. Look deeply into what your child enjoys and loves to do and find ways to get them to do it outside. If your child is a big fan of COD-type video games, get them to play some safe and fun Nerf gun games outside. If your child is into photography, set them up for a photo shoot session outside. Appealing to their interests shows them that you care and helps them unlock their love for the outdoors themselves.
Teach them to love nature
Sometimes, the easiest way to get your child outside to help their mental health is to teach them to love the outdoors. Learning to love nature and the outdoors is the main basis of ecotherapy and is the key to unlocking its mental health benefits. Start by getting them passionate about all things green and natural. From camping to gardening to protecting the environment, there are plenty of routes for you to take. Teach them about the beauty and majesty of nature, and get them inspired to try it out. Once they know the value of being outside, they can seek out their medicine, by themselves!
Go on a family holiday
A family holiday is a good way to get everyone, including your child, out of the house and feeling better. Everyone needs a break now and then, from work, school, stress, and life in general. There are many ways to combine the outdoors and going on vacation, depending on what you’re looking for, from a trip to the beach to camping in the woods to going on a family walk in the park. While on your holiday, set some ground rules and focus on reconnecting with each other and nature. Look for what fits best for you and your family, and get ready to bond and get some fresh air!
Make the outside magical for your child
Finally, if a family holiday is not in the cards for you, the next best thing is to create a magical world outside for your child at home! If you have a yard or garden, you’re already halfway there! Children, whether in their teens or in their tweens, love to feel like they’re someplace magical. With a few fairy lights, some blankets, and snacks, you can transform your normal yard into a magical wonderland for your kid. Bring out the sleeping bags and s’mores and have a family camping session in your backyard. Bring out the movie projector and watch some movies outside for a change, and have a blast!
So there you have it! With this guide in mind, you’re ready to help your child in the most natural and healthy way; with the power of the outdoors! Consider getting your child professional help in the form of a fun outdoor camp. Try to get them interested in exercise, being outdoors, or nature in general to jumpstart their healing process. Remember to appeal to their interests and find ways to get them excited about being outdoors. At the end of the day, if all else fails, book a fun outdoor holiday for the whole family or take a holiday in your backyard! Keep this guide in mind, and remember to be patient and kind when helping someone with their mental health!