Covid-19 presents mental and physical challenges for everyone, regardless of whether you ever test positive or not. As we all endure this historic worldwide pandemic, many of us are focused on staying upbeat. It’s an everyday struggle, but the world is catching on and connecting the dots to a common theme: embracing the healing power of nature.
● A survey earlier this year compiled by Natural Areas Conservancy shows that 12 major cities have observed more people using their natural areas since March.
● Overseas, the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona — slammed with Covid-19 patients since March — has been taking patients across the street to catch a whiff of fresh oceanside air. What could be better than the sand, the sun and the sea?
● In Australia, and across the world, the practice of “forest bathing” is catching on, something that can be practiced in one’s backyard or even indoors. The concept involves living in the present while immersing your senses in the sights and sounds of a natural setting.
Nature, as intended, is providing a healing touch during our time of crisis.
The report from the Natural Areas Conservancy is particularly telling. The report cited that “across 12 cities in the United States, there has been an observed increase, relative to previous years, in public use of urban natural areas since March 2020. Residents are seeking out natural areas for local access to nature and as a less crowded type of urban parkland during stay-at-home orders.”
It’s understandable why people are turning to nature as a coping mechanism. Studies show that a simple walk can improve self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality, and reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue. It is truly the natural way to deal with chronic health issues, including high blood pressure and diabetes.
In simple terms, nature has a calming effect.
So step outside if you can and smell the fresh air and explore your neighborhood or a park. It will do your mind and body good.