Parents only want what is best for their children, whether it means providing them healthy physical activities, mental exercises, and happy childhood and home. There is one thing that has become relevant to the mental health discourse as more and more young adults have experienced depression and some of the reasons are linked to their traumatic childhood experiences.
Depression has become alarming nowadays that it takes a great effort to combat it. However, providing healthy outdoor activities that children can enjoy is a step forward away from depression. There are many ways on how to provide meaningful outdoor experiences to your children. You could have a family picnic, avail them of the best cruises for kids, or you can go visit the zoo and enjoy animals and nature together.
The following are the five reasons why physical outdoor activities improve children’s mental health:
1. It lowers anxiety
Numerous studies have already shown the positive effects of outdoor activities, whether is sports, playing, etc. to the emotional and psychological well-being of children. In a study done in 2017 by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, it was found out that individuals who have frequent physical activities are happier and have less level of anxiety.
2.It provides children some break from their busy and tedious routines in school
The educational system and the society have imposed a lot of responsibilities and expectations to our children. This is why providing them a fun outdoor experience will give them a break from stress, especially from school. It is a fun way to reflect, relax, and give their minds some peace by having fun and being happy in the present moments they have.
3.It gives them vitamin D
Vitamin D can be obtained from the sun. So, being outside while sweating can be a very healthy activity of children especially after months of getting stuck in the house during winter and cold season. Vitamin D can also release serotonin, a hormone that regulates emotions and mood linked to happiness. Studies have shown that children who lack vitamin D are more susceptible to depression.
4.The indoor environment can induce mental stress and anxiety
A number of studies have found out that lack of connection to outdoor activities as well as physical activities are two of the major factors of mental stress and anxiety not just in children but also to adults. Too much reliance on gadgets and screens, lack of access facilities, parents’ fear of their children’s safety, and others are also the factors that keep children being provided outdoor activities. Parents need awareness of this
As more and more cases of depression and suicides are erupting, even the World Health Organization recognizes the need for intervention such as programs and seminars. As parents, we also need to take into consideration our children’s mental health and we can start by providing them avenues to have healthier physical activities and a more fun childhood experience. There are many things you can do such as going out in a picnic, hiking, going to a zoo, having cruises, and more.