We’re celebrating all things al fresco this season, embracing the mood-enhancing effects of being outdoors, especially after the cold and dark wintry months. What's great about having events outdoors? Everything! We can even handle the chance of rain with some prep. Research has shown that being outdoors has a de-stressing effect, so doing as much as possible al fresco is a win-win. PS All photos in this post are from the Squad Creative Event Management.
“When we laugh with friends, we release endorphins.” Linda Blair
Do you laugh more outdoors? We think so, especially when celebrating with friends or colleagues. Finnish and British researchers have recently done a study which has shown how laughter releases endorphins in the human brain and the more opioid receptors the participants had the more they laughed. Also: Other primates maintain social contacts by mutual grooming, which also induces endorphin release. This is however very time consuming.
2) Vitamin D
“Come forth into the light things, let nature be your teacher.” William Wordsworth
Old Wordsworth knew what he was talking about when he waxed lyrical about "come forth into the light". Harvard Health says going al fresco and letting sunlight hit the skin helps activate Vitamin D production, improves concentration and even encourages faster healing if you are unwell. Don't forget the Factor 15 though.
3) Time Abundance
“The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration.” Claude Monet
Getting outdoors also helps specifically with creative thinking and the lovely Thrive Global identifies FIVE proven ways spending time al fresco inspires creativity. In a nutshell being in nature gives you a feeling of awe and a time abundance mindset, resulting in boosted memory and increased brain function. Andrew Clark from Explore New Trails, writes: "People have known for a long time that exposure to the natural world can bring healing to the body, but until recently, scientific research had not confirmed this cultural wisdom. What’s more, these studies also showed that the benefits of a prolonged walk in the woods can last for seven days." Read more in The Benefits of Outdoor Exercise here.
4) Honest Appetite
“You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.” Paul Prudhomme
We know food tastes better outdoors, but why? Perhaps because you simplify menus a little and focus more on using the freshest ingredients? Or being al fresco means you've worked up an honest appetite and eat with more gusto than when seated indoors. As South African's, eating outdoors is part of our shisa nyama / braai culture. Speaking of which, don't forget Heritage Day on 24 September, a great theme this month to encourage some team building / culture sharing.
Kelly McGillivray, Squad Leader
About: theSQUAD Creative Event Management
Incredible challenges are what take us to the moon and back. theSQUAD Creative Event Management in Johannesburg work to outdo themselves with bigger, more authentic, lump-in-your-throat, goose-bump-inducing, pulse-raising, smile-widening, can't-believe-that-just-happened experiences. We look forward to you joining us for the ride.
Contact: Kelly McGillivray