Connect with Nature
Connecting with nature is how I have been spending a lot of my time lately (instead of writing the blog in a timely manner). Performing the yard chores of spring: weeding, pruning, mulching, planting and mowing. It is strenuous and time consuming, however, I always itch at every chance to be outdoors. For many, this is the reason we chose to live in Nelson county because the mountains and rolling landscape are so beautiful. Taking time to connect with nature and take care of our surroundings is important.
There are interesting moments even during a mundane activity such as weeding. A colorful salamander scoots by or a tiny frog hops about in the dirt. I’ve come upon a baby hummingbird buzzing -curious about me. The senses are overwhelmed in Spring: the warm air, the fragrant smells, the birds singing, the falling raindrops. The longer days invite us outside. I chide myself when I take numerous photos of sunsets, sunrises, flowers, landscapes -the same scene each season. Those are the moments where I paused long enough to appreciate the beauty.
There are many opportunities to connect with nature even with a busy schedule:
Sit quietly listening and observing without your phone.
Take a walk during your work lunch break or after dinner.
Eat a meal outside.
Appreciate a spectacular sunrise or sunset.
Read a book outside in a hammock.
Feel the fresh air and warm sun on your skin.
Weed the flower beds and and feel the dirt in your hands.
Listen to the beat of raindrops on the roof.
Take a hike.
Play a game outside.
Go to a ballgame.
Go to the beach.
Cut some flowers to put in a vase for the indoors (especially if your workplace doesn’t have windows)
Research reveals that connecting with nature a few minutes daily lowers blood pressure, reduces the output of cortisol and reduces stress. As we nurture our environment, we are caring for ourselves and that promotes calmness.
In addition, connecting with nature allows us to leave the electronic world of cell phones, ipads and laptops for a little while. That is vital for optimal health and reduction of stress. The continual beeps during the day “alerting” us that there is a new email or text compounds the stress. There is a false immediacy that has been created in which we feel compelled to respond to everything in the next 15-20 seconds. That type of stress accumulates throughout our lifetime inflaming the mind, organs and cardiovascular system. It is important to be aware of our habits to foster wellness. Connecting with nature cultivates peace in our hearts and minds just as we would cultivate the growth of a beautiful rose.