START "EARTHING": CONNECTING WITH NATURE FOR YOUR HEALTH
You know, for a gal who grew up in what is actually considered a small country town in Texas, I have a whole lot of city slicker in me! It might just be because my mother is not a native Texan (how unfortunate for her!). With that said, I rode horses, played with my great-grandmother’s chickens “out back” and tended fresh vegetables from the garden. However, I was not an “outside” kind of kid and definitely did not blossom into an “outside” kind of adult. After graduating high school I moved to the capital of Texas to go to university and thereafter moved the the largest metropolitan city closest to my family home, which also happens to be the fourth largest city in the nation, Houston. So, I definitely became a true “city slicker!” While it was not quite the concrete jungle that is say, a New York, trust and believe that the fields of green were certainly a rarity in the city and I enjoyed all that came with just that. Bourgeois champagne hours, running with the the fashion set and attending gallery openings and enjoying open air patios on Sundays with unlimited mimosa service. I was living and loving the city life. With all that said, I managed to make it home, to the country, each weekend to visit, somehow falling right back into the slow pace of country living.
What I have managed to realize over the years is that I truly have the best of both worlds at my fingertips and I should seize this to connect and get the best of what both worlds had to offer me. So this month I am talking about connecting with nature and not just with food, or personal care products, but nature as in outdoors, fresh air, birds chirping and even dodging insects!
I think that many of us are so driven by what we “have to do” that we don’t ever take time to slow down and get to what we want to do! As winter finally fades, the sun begins to shine and flowers begin to bloom once again, I decided to take advantage and get all I could from the great outdoors! I literally disconnected from the laptop and cell phone and in the middle of a Monday morning and headed to a park, that for the past three...that is right, three years, I drove past without giving a second thought. That’s right, I drove to the park and just found myself...there! And let me tell you it was wonderful! I strolled, I stood, I smelled, I walked, I sat...in mud actually, but I sat, I watched ducks swim by and counted ripples in the pond. Somehow being out in all this beauty and taking time to appreciate that it was there for me to enjoy lowered my defenses, calmed me, and put me in a really great mood! I noticed that I was all of a sudden smiling for no other reason than just to smile. I started appreciating the beauty that nature had to offer and I just enjoyed being a guest and explore with a different eye.
You know, our bodies were made to feel and connect to nature. Our skin was made to soak up the sun and our lungs to be rejuvenated by fresh air. Goodness, there is absolutely nothing on this earth like fresh air! It is no doubt refreshing, but also, there has been research to show that the air quality in our homes is not up to par, and indoor air pollution is actually one of the most serious environmental risks to human health, so that is reason alone to think about getting into some...fresh(er) air!
Now, I get it, you may just be absolutely anti-outdoors, and definitely being a native Texan you can put me in that category during the summer months which is like 9 months out of the year! But, just like taking vitamins, I find a way to make it happen, whether that is early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid flippin’ heat stroke due that the insane heat! If you find yourself in a bad mood, in a slump, tired and lacking energy you should head outdoors. Why, you ask? Well, for one, being outdoors is natural (and free) medicine! No healthcare debate needed here!
There is research that tells us when there is feeling of connection to nature this can heighten not only our psychological health but also our physical well-being.(1) So, why not give it a go?! Where to start? Here are a few ways to really connect with nature and incorporate some outdoor time into your routine:
Take up a hobby such as gardening, biking, running or walking. Not into gardening? Neither am I, but I can appreciate a beautiful garden! Talk a stroll to look at and smell the roses in your neighborhood! Not ready to go for the gusto and start training for that 5K or MS150? That’s okay. Consider going on a short walk or bike ride after dinner just for leisure in order to burn off those calories!
Start the practice of “grounding” also known as earthing. When you are grounded you will be less tense, feel balanced and centered! When you participate in grounding, you place your body in direct contact with the earth, such as the soil, sand, or water without any barrier. The easiest way for many of us to participating in the practice of earthing would be to go barefoot in the soil. Research suggests, due to the abundance of mobile electrons in the earth’s surface it helps resolve inflammation as the skin contact with the earth allows the electrons to travel and spread not only over the surface of the skin but into the body. (2) Essentially our body’s have a type of electrical current that runs through it and the Earth’s negative charge can actually create a stable internal environment for our body systems!
Drink your coffee or eat dinner outside! I incorporate getting outside with my morning routine but I also love cooking a light and fresh meal and taking it out to enjoy on the back patio. Dining outdoors uplevels my meals and makes them feel special without having to head out to a restaurant. The ideas of dining al fresco are endless, you can create your own setting whether it is a Mediterranean fare or a romantic dinner with a few candles and my favorite red wine glasses!
Whatever you decide, there is no doubt that you should start thinking about how you can create a life of health and happiness by pushing out into the great outdoors! Let me know below how you will attempt to incorporate a little outside time into your day!
~To your health, Colet
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