Ever noticed that stepping outside can calm a miserable baby, or lead a toddler from frustration to fascination, provide an outlet for a school kid with a bunch of energy to burn off, or a palpable breather for an overtaxed adult? It’s such an obvious and undisputed truth as to warrant at least an eye roll for sheer lack of originality, yet we need reminding. From somewhere deep within our bones, shaped by the many generations of ancestors who lived entirely within natural surroundings, we know this: it is good to spend time in nature.
It’s only fairly recently that our species has built itself into concrete jungles, and even more recently that many of us have stopped noticing the lack of greenery in our lives. Our lives are that busy (and our phones that interesting), y’all!
So our spring challenge to you is to spend half an hour each day outside in the most natural environment you can access. Haul the kids along with you, and you’ll start an infinitely valuable daily practice that will enrich their lives in so many ways. The benefits of this – possibly the cheapest medicine there is – are numerous and compelling:
- It improves mental health and wellbeing, providing an immediate boost to our moods and attentiveness,
- Eases the effects of stress, especially for those of us living in green-starved environment
- It improves our concentration and even our memory, and may help us think more creatively too.
- Time spent in nature has even been shown to reduce the symptoms of ADHD in kids. Click here for further reading.
- It can help our kids to maintain good eyesight.
- It improves our physical health in many ways, including through encouraging us to move our bodies more vigorously and expansively, and it also helps to make exercise feel easier and more enjoyable.
- It helps to improve our immune system functioning and help us recover faster from illness.
How much more convincing could one possibly need? And what better time than spring to shake up our schedules, change our everyday scenery, and add a little green time to our lives, whether it be taking the dogs for a walk, zipping the kids down to the local park for half an hour, or spending a dedicated block of time in your own garden. Bring some greenery into your home and office space to get the benefit of its life-giving vibes, or start a veggie patch or pot plant veggie garden, making a special space for your kids to plant their own flowers or food. The greener the better, and the wilder the better too. Cheers to our greenest spring yet!
Date Published: 08 September 2016