If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it is never to underestimate the healing powers of nature. As the nation gradually eases its restrictions and protocols, it is high time we unplug from technology and reintroduce ourselves outdoors. While home quarantines are vital to slow down the spread of COVID-19, too much time indoors may also be doing us more harm than good.
Thus, as the nation gears up for herd immunity, it is crucial to maintain a healthy balance spent indoors and out. The good news is, you don’t have to travel far to recharge your social batteries nor worry about the crowd and social distancing while at it. Sometimes, spending at least 120 minutes in nature parks, taking brief therapeutic walks, having morning coffee in the garden, or visiting nearby places surrounded by trees and lakes can do wonders for our health and well-being.
It is good for the eyes
Technology has become our window to the outside world as we seek protection indoors from the deadly virus. In return, we found ourselves glued to the screens 24/7 as work, education, and entertainment rolled into one location. Unfortunately, this also puts us at greater risk, particularly our eyesight.
Thus, some of us may have experienced severe eye strain, blurred vision, myopia, and other computer vision syndrome. With the world gradually moving towards the new normal, it’s time to allow your eyes to relax. Do this by not opening your phone first thing in the morning. Instead, try going outside and enjoy a 30-minute coffee break on your patio or garden.
For added privacy and safety, especially with kids and pets around, consider installing high-quality composite fence pickets on your property to relish your time outdoors fully.
It helps our immune system
Our immune system functions better when put under the right conditions. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case when we spend too much time indoors. Studies show that it can affect our mental health, weakening our body’s natural resistance.
Have daily morning jogs around your neighborhood to get some much-needed vitamin D. This can increase your white blood cells, which assists your system in detecting and fighting bacteria, viruses, and other harmful intruders that enter the body. Moreover, make sure to have a balanced diet and get enough sleep to wield your system’s function fully.
It lowers the risks of premature death
Having a green space is crucial for one’s health, especially for people living in highly urbanized communities. For one, access to natural vegetation helps purify the air that we breathe and provides a relaxing view from the usual hustle and bustle of the city. Moreover, it reduces the risk of contracting deadly diseases such as cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases, cancer, and diabetes.
If you live in densely populated areas, schedule a weekend downtime and spend afternoons with your family in a nearby nature park. If your workplace is nearby, try riding a bike instead of commuting. Make it a point to pass by the lakeside or sports field to have a quick escape from the heat and give you a relaxing trip to the office. This may also serve as your daily exercise, which is equally beneficial, especially if squeezing one in your busy lifestyle may seem tricky.
It helps reduce inflammation
Our body’s natural response to stressors, including injury and infections, is inflammation. If you aren’t careful, this could lead to autoimmune disorders that can be harmful or even deadly. However, this can be prevented with regular trips outdoors.
If parks and woodlands aren’t accessible at the moment, consider getting indoor plants and increase the amount of greenery in your outdoor space. You may also explore cafes and restaurants that offer outdoor dining or those that have green roofing. In addition, consider investing in conifer essential oils such as cedarwood, juniper berry, black spruce, needle-like shrubs, and various evergreens.
Their extracts can help soothe muscle discomfort, joint pain, respiratory problems and may even be antibacterial for wounds. Additionally, their fragrance can assist in enhancing one’s mood and alleviate anxiety.
Stepping outside and spending some time outdoors is one step closer to reaping the advantages of fresh air and sunshine. Even a simple drive, bicycle ride, or walking your dog around the block can do wonders for your physical and mental health. You can also start taking up new outdoor hobbies such as brisk walking, gardening, and forest bathing.
Additionally, you may encourage your loved ones and even neighbors to do the same. Just remember to keep your distance, do necessary health protocols, and wear your sunscreen. Let’s re-establish our connection with nature to benefit both our minds and bodies.