How to improve your mood in the great outdoors

How to improve your mood in the great outdoors

I get it, when the rain is like a waterfall down the windows, it doesn’t exactly invite us outdoors! For me, I have to get outside, and I notice on the days that I don’t, it affects my mood. I have some great tips for you to work around the weather and the most amazing recipe to dig into after you’ve braved those elements.

Living in Ireland means we have to deal with a short-lived summer and a long-lasting winter. And yet, the first sign of rain, we talk ourselves into staying indoors. Our bad-weather seasons last way too long for us to stay inside.

And our bodies need fresh air.

Studies have shown that regular fresh air helps us to eat healthier, perform tasks better and even have a better night’s sleep! I know it can be hard to motivate yourself to get out the door when you’re warm and cozy, but cold, fresh air is so, so beneficial to your body.

Here are 5 tips to help you get yourself out in the most challenging weather:

1. Prepare a meal before hand

Having something nice to enjoy when you get back is a nice reward. If it’s lunchtime, I’ll usually have a pot of soup made or if it’s dinner, a yummy stew wafting through the house is amazing to come home to!

2. Layers and visibility

Throw on some layers. Sometimes we put on a big heavy coat then end up too hot. Or we wear something too light and feel miserable and cold. Layers are a great way to get that body temperature right.

Also make sure you are visible, it’s dangerous to be out in dark clothing this time of year Get that high vis on.

3. Appearances don’t matter

You’re not aiming for a photoshoot look, as long as you are comfortable and are easy to see then just get going, there are no prizes for best outfit of the day

4.Have fun

If you’re out with the kids, have fun, puddles are a must and whilst they are living their best life, look around and take in the environment along with some nice deep breaths of air. Mindful movement is a great way to spend your time, life is busy, try to be in the present.

5. Change of clothes and towels

Always handy to have these at the back door ready for jumping into upon your return. And don’t be so quick to throw all the outside gear in the wash. If it just got a bit wet, hang them up to dry for tomorrow.

The key to this is keeping it simple. You could have something as easy as some crackers with cheese ready for when you come home.

Whatever works for the rhythm of your family. You will notice everyone’s mood improves from this one activity.

One of my favorite sayings is “hunger is the best sauce”, and it’s so true! When they come in the door after being outside and they have worked up an appetite, they are more likely to eat whatever is put in front of them!

Wellness-Tip: Take notice of the change in your scenery around you. Leaves are changing colour, the air smells different, everything seems greener. Enjoy being out in nature!

Exercise Tip: Get outside and go for a walk, if the weather is not ideal, prepare a change of clothes for when you get home and go anyway! PS Singing in the rain is allowed!

Lamb Curry

recipe by:Derval O’Rourke

The most amazing recipe to dig into after an autumn walk.

Preparation Time

10 mins

Cooking Time

1 hour 30 mins

Total Time

1 hour 40 mins


  • 1 lime, zest and juice

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 800g diced lamb

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 finely chopped onion

  • 1 tbsp medium curry powder

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tin of coconut milk

  • 2 tbsp tomato puree

  • 1 tbsp tabasco (optional for those that like heat)

  • 1 tbsp honey

  • chopped fresh coriander to garnish

  • brown rice or couscous to serve


  1. Mix the lime zest, juice and garlic in a large bowl.

  2. Add the lamb and use your hands to massage the marinade into the meat.

  3. Cover and leave in the fridge for 2 hours.

  4. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.

  5. Add the onion and cook for about five minutes.

  6. Cook the lamb in batches in the pan, until browned on each side.

  7. Stir in the curry powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute.

  8. Stir in the coconut milk, tomato puree, tabasco and honey and cook for another 5 minutes.

  9. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for at least 1 hour.

  10. Stir occasionally and add a little water if the curry seems dry.

  11. Ladle the curry into warmed serving bowls and sprinkle over the cilantro. Serve with brown rice or couscous.


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