How the Outdoors Benefits Mental Health with Julia Bradbury

Julia Bradbury, our Peter Storm ambassador, tells us how the outdoors can benefit our mental health.

We went down to Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Northwest of London, to see what Julia had to say. Chiltern Hills is one of Julia’s favourite places, not only because it’s stunning to look at, but because it allows Julia to switch off from her busy lifestyle and take some time out to relax her mind and surround herself with beautiful trees, plants and greenery.

Julia is joined by walking therapist Jonathon Hoban, to hear his expert advice and discuss this topic in more detail.

Take a look at the YouTube video below to hear what Julia and Jonathon had to say:

Julia says: “We are being stimulated all the time; looking at screens, the phone’s ringing, the alerts are coming through…everything we do is about being switched on and human beings need to switch off

Jonathon tells us: “When we walk out to nature, oxytocin is produced in the brain. Oxytocin is what we call the ‘love drug’, it helps us connect with each other and massively decrease stress. So, the longer you stay outside, the more oxytocin you get

Julia Bradbury sitting on a tree
Julia Bradbury and Jonathon Hoban

You can shop Julia’s outfits, as seen in the video, below:

Women’s Blisco Gilet

You can shop the whole Peter Storm collection online here at Go Outdoors:

How Can we Use the Outdoors to Benefit Our Mental Health?

Get Outside

It sounds simple but getting outside for a little while each day is sure to boost our mood. Nature is accessible to everyone, and the great outdoors is available to everyone for free! Parks, forests, public footpaths and even the street where you live can be used to freely walk around and enjoy some fresh air. Take advantage of this and spend time outdoors as much as possible.

Meet with Others

Whether it’s a friend, a colleague, a family member or a neighbour, meeting with others in the outdoors is a great idea to boost your mood! Spending time with these people is thought to lower stress levels, improve your mood and encourage positive behaviours.

Soak up the Sun

When the sun comes out, it’s the perfect opportunity to get outside and soak up the rays! Research has shown that vitamin D from sunlight might play a significant role in regulating mood and boosting your energy. So, get outside and give it a go!

Note: if you’re spending time in the sun make sure you wear sun cream and protective clothing or a hat to keep you safe.

Julia Bradbury and Jonathon Hoban discussing the benefits of the outdoors on your mental health

If you’re struggling with your mental health and need some support or advice, visit the NHS website where you will find contacts for mental health helplines and counselling services. And remember, you’re not alone.

Looking for more advice and inspiration? Check out our blog for some more fantastic reads.