April 22nd is National Earth Day in which we celebrate the only home we have ever known. This will be the first Earth Day where we are practicing social distancing, but it is important to look at the ways we can enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature.
When I was younger and said I was tired or bored, my mom would always send me outside to “get some fresh air.’ As it turns out, it was more than just that. Studies have shown that twenty minutes of mom’s prescribed fresh air will give you the same amount of energy as a cup of coffee. The weather is becoming warmer, so take a break and enjoy it.
Smell the Roses
Science tells us that being in nature acts as aromatherapy! Smells like pine, roses and freshly cut grass can help calm us and take away stress. When you start feeling overwhelmed, take a step outside and bring your kids! Another study has shown that kids who spend more time inside were more likely to become nearsighted than kids who got outdoors.
Skip the Flintstone vitamins! The sun gives off vitamin D, so let your skin soak it up. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and aids in protecting you from Osteoporosis. Almost 90% of our Vitamin D intake comes from casual exposure to sunlight. The sun is staying up longer and is closer to the Earth now (at least in the Norther Hemisphere), so take advantage of free Vitamin D.
Improve Your Focus
Being stuck in our homes, hunched over desks, in dark room is not efficient for keeping focus; especially if you have kids or pets with other priorities. Studies have shown that a twenty-minute break outdoors helps sharpen your focus. Author Richard Louv has coined a term called Nature Deficit Disorder saying that people suffer when they do not spend time outdoors. Scientists have backed up that claim, where one study found that children with ADHD were able to better focus when they spent time outdoors.
If you’re not into jogging, walking, or working out, simply throw a blanket down outdoors and read. If you want, just sunbathe! The important thing here is that you spend time outside. As self-isolating goes on, and we spend more time indoors, we need to find time to be outside connecting with nature. While outdoors, be sure to continue practicing social distancing.
However, you decide to connect with nature, remember to celebrate this beautiful planet on which we live. It is an honour to be alive, and one we should always be grateful for. To each of you, have a wonderful Earth Day!