If for some reason you can´t go outside due to chronic illness, try leaning out of a window, sitting on the doorstep or even just opening one of the two will do. If you can´t leave the house because you feel like you can´t leave the house I urge you to call a doctor, a friend or a loved one and tell them so that they can help you. Just looking out of the window is also fine. The point is to engage with The Outside.
Look at the weather! The sky has clouds or perhaps it´s completely blue, there is a breeze, maybe heavy rain or a strong wind blowing in your face. There are plants and maybe flowers, birds and animals. What season is it? All of this is going on without any input from you, you can just stare and enjoy it. No effort required.
It’s not just you
Look at all the people that pass by. Maybe they don´t feel that great either but you are outside and so are they. Maybe they look at you and envy your abundant hair or your cool jacket.
If you go outside where the other people are maybe you will experience a pleasant moment. This could be bumping into a friend, having a random chat with someone or even just being thrown a breezy smile. Even better, be the one throwing the breezy smile to someone else.
The tops of building are often far more beautiful than at ground level. Look up and admire the colour of the stone and the ornamentation. Look at the branches of the trees against the sky. Study the pattern of the flats in a tower block and count how many people have plants or laundry or a cat in the window.
Look down at where the plants, dogs and children are. They are almost always having a good time. Look into water; watch the ducks and the fish and the plants. Watch the bugs. There are so many tiny normal things to marvel at.
Look for signs
I read a novel where the main character would ´read´ signs she came across on the pavement. You could try this too with the one rule that whatever you take from it is a positive something. You are not allowed to see a diet coke can and worry about your weight. If you see an advert for violin lessons listen to some violin music when you get home. If you pass an old fashioned computer shop call your IT friend and ask how he´s doing.
What´s the point?
It’s good for you to get out of yourself and into The Outside. If you are outside you are probably moving around which is proven as one of the easiest and most effective ways to combat feeling blue.
If someone calls you later and asks ‘How are you doing?’ you will say I went outside today and they will be curious ‘Oh really where did you go?’ and you will say “I just popped out and I saw a Labrador puppy and that lady with the blue eye shadow, and did you ever notice that Indian family in the tower block with the decorated balcony?” You are a real person with stories to tell.
A little ten minutes outside gives you some experiences, a little glimpse at other lives and there you are, alive, outside, doing things and looking at things and yes everything right now is ok.
That’s all it can take to feel a little bit better and maybe you feel better for a bit longer than 10 minutes.