We are now in the thick of the holiday season. For many, this time of the year is filled with joy, laughter, and delicious foods enjoyed with family and friends surrounded by warmth and love. For others, it can be a little bit harder to fully embrace the holiday spirit. Entertaining long-lost Aunts and Uncles, preparing multi-course dinners for picky eaters and pressure to find the perfect gift can add up, giving someone a serious case of the Holiday Blues. Rather than wallow in your seasonal depression, all you need to do to perk up is simply go outside.
Why is nature so healing? It’s our home. Humans crave a connection to nature. Nature provides the perfect platform to practice tuning into your five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. By being outside, you are forced to be present. This mindfulness helps your mental health, physical health and social health. Even if you only have 5 minutes to spare, go outside. Take a deep breath. Listen to the wind blowing. You won’t regret it, I promise.
Unsure of where to spend some time outside? You can find a list Keep Indianapolis Beautiful’s IPL GreenSpaces and Pocket Parks here: http://www.kibi.org/programs/beautification/project-greenspace/ipl-project-greenspace-past-projects/
For more information on ecotherapy, forest bathing and other examples of using nature to reduce anxiety and stress, keep reading these articles:
- “A Dose of Nature: Doctors Prescribe a Day in the Park for Anxiety” https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/dose-nature-doctors-prescribe-day-park-anxiety-n823421
- “Forest Therapy Guide Explains the Healing Power of a Walk in the Woods” https://www.today.com/health/forest-therapy-guide-explains-healing-power-walk-woods-t101086
- Natural Ways to Calm Down” https://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/spending-time-outside-relieves-stress
- “Why Nature is Therapeutic” http://www.crchealth.com/find-a-treatment-center/struggling-youth-programs/help/nature-is-therapeutic/