It’s not surprising to feel mentally exhausted, irritable and stressed during this pandemic. Currently many working from home, homeschooling, socially-distancing, quarantining and not being able to experience the most basic interactions has put a lot of burden on our mental health as well as physical health.
Now more than ever, it’s super important to get healthy and nourishing foods, cut out sugar, get quality sleep and regularly exercise to nourish and protect the immune system, but let’s not forget about the benefits of spending time in nature. Getting out in nature can have some incredible benefits and I personally would like to add that spending time in nature regularly, especially during times of stress, can have life changing effects!
Several studies have shown that time in nature and being exposed to natural light, has measurable positive effects:
- Nature can be a mood booster and help with depression.
- Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is essential for our immune system and optimal health.
- Spending time outdoors definitely increases the motivation to move and exercise. In addition, it makes your walk or exercise experience more enjoyable.
- Being in the nature means less time in front of screens and a break for your brain and body, a true gift supporting our physical and mental health.
- Spending time outdoors lifts your spirit, naturally calms the body, relieves stress, anxiety and improves concentration.
Here, I would like to share my thoughts on how you can incorporate daily nature practice into your life:
- Take a break after your lunch and check your mailbox. Take a little walk around your house and feel the sun on your skin even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Take a ten minute afternoon coffee/tea break and sit in your balcony or backyard without your phone or computer. Be mindful of your surrounding and cherish the fresh air.
- Take your yoga matt outside and do a short 10 minute yoga exercise. Be mindful of your experience and the fresh air.
- After dinner, instead of sitting in front of the couch, walk outside of your house, go stargazing for just a few minutes.
- Try to eat one of your meals or snacks outdoors. (backyard, balcony, front steps or park.)
- If you have a daily indoor exercise routine like using the treadmill or a bike, instead try to go for a walk or a jog in your neighborhood.
- Walk barefoot on grass or sand. This practice is called ‘grounding” or “earthing” which focuses on directly reconnecting yourself to the earth.
I hope these tips inspire you to spend more time in nature as an essential part of your wellness routine.