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Abundance of Connections to Nature

Do you ever notice how you can feel completely drained and exhausted. Then you force yourself to go outside for a walk or to do some yard work and suddenly you do not feel as crappy as you did before? Getting out in nature has a healing vibration that cannot be replicated by anything.

One time someone asked me how I manage all of my stress being a single mom, working full-time and writing books on the side. My response was, “I get out to the mountains as often as possible.” I think they were a bit shocked by my answer, but it was the truth. I live about an hour from the mountains so going to them is not that difficult to do on a weekend. Yet so few people who live in the city actually get out to them.

I remember when I first started teaching, I was teaching grade six, we were going to outdoor school and the student I was sitting beside on the bus had never been to the mountains before (even though you can literally see them from the city). He was blown away as we drove up to them and asked if we got to walk on them, he was just so completely in awe of how majestic they were. This was a big eye opener to me because I thought that everyone who lived in the city I lived in would go out to the mountains at least once and awhile. I was completely wrong.

Nature has a way of engaging children and shifting there energy. Any teacher knows that the kids are wild when they do not get to go outside and run around because it is too hot or too cold out. I wish that there was more focus on learning from nature and being in nature in schools. I think if there was we would see less behavioural problems and more engagement. Kids are naturally curious of the world around them.

There are many benefits to spending time in nature that we often do not consider. One main one is reduced stress and as a result improved mood. Exposure to natural light actually releases serotonin which is a neurotransmitter connected to mood. Nature can have a huge impact on our mental health as well. Being in nature often is associated with feelings of peace and tranquility which helps with depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.

I know what you are thinking, I don’t have time to go out and spend time in nature, I have deadlines to meet. Well nature can actually help with that too. Spending time in nature is connected with heightened creativity and improvements in concentration. I know in the classroom if the kids are really dysregulated if I take them outside for even five minutes they come back in settled and ready to work.

So if this week you are feeling a bit overwhelmed or exhausted I challenge you to spend some time in nature. If you live in a big city try to go to a park or a nature space in the city. Take time to really absorb the vibration of tranquility and peace while you are there. Then when you return to notice if you are able to concentrate better or if creative ideas start to flow.

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