Retreating to Nature for a Mental Health Break

From waking up to winding down and getting ready to sleep, we spend most of our time looking at electronic screens. At work, typing reports and building spreadsheets and decks are becoming the norm in the 21st century as more jobs require being knowledge workers. Then when we get home or even while commuting, who’s not guilty in opening up a favorite video streaming application to catch up on the latest shows and movies.

A study conducted by OnePoll revealed Americans on average spend nearly half of their waking hours looking at a screen. That’s almost 8 out of the 16 hours a day one is awake if you’re sleeping the recommended 8 hours of rest. Many adverse effects of long-term screen time exposure have been warned by health experts due to how it impairs brain structure and function, especially for kids. For the sake of our brains, there is now a need to change one’s screen-populated life and go back to spending time outside with nature.

Great benefits for the great outdoors

Running through grassy fields, breathing fresh air generated by tall majestic trees, and investing in for-sale campers for an annual Louisiana family camping trip. These outdoor activities do so much in boosting a person’s mental health and physical well-being. They give people a chance to disconnect and slow down from a fast-paced and highly stimulated world.

plants inside the house

Feelings of awe experienced in the midst of great natural wonders like the waterfalls of Yosemite National Park or the wildlife-rich wetlands of the Florida Everglades can energize creativity and lessen mental fatigue. It helps a person go beyond thinking of self-centric things and makes one realize that there is a wider world out there. This minimized focus on the self can quiet the negative self-talk linked to anxiety and depression.

Injecting nature to one’s life

You don’t need to spend so much money or sacrifice vacation days to incorporate more nature into your life. Research nearby parks in your neighborhood and have a picnic with friends out in the open as an alternative to the usual restaurant. In lieu of parking your self in front of the television on a Saturday morning, opt to take a walk and bike around or start a garden in your backyard. Stop and absorb your surroundings on the way to work instead of rushing past the sights or scrolling through social media. Notice the sounds, smells, and other sensations you’re experiencing and be in the present moment.

Free and affordable activities are also available if you exert enough effort to ask around and search on the internet. Your community might have regular hiking trips or swimming classes that you can take your kids with you. You can even organize your own day trips and outings. Next thing you know, you’re founding a nature club with regular monthly activities.

Time in the great outdoors, no matter how short, is beneficial in strengthening one’s mental health and physical disposition. It can relieve stress, boost happiness, and improve one’s mood due to its restorative qualities. Try and schedule a date with nature next time you’re feeling down and grumpy. You might find a walk through the park invigorating.

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