Nurturing Yourself With Nature
At OHI, our entire focus is helping support your on your healing journey through life. We extol the virtues of an organic, raw, plant-based diet because we know that is the best way to nourish your body and mind. We teach you all about meditation, and journaling, and vocal toning so that you can nourish your spirit. But there is one key way to nourish your body/mind/spirit that we don’t teach a formal class on at OHI. We simply let our beautiful campus set the example — everyone should spend time nurturing yourself with NATURE. And now that summer is coming, consider the beautiful weather and longer hours of daylight your personal invitation to GET OUTDOORS!
Why? Being outside and communing with nature has some serious health perks:
- 1. Soak up the Vitamin D: When you’re outside in the sun, your vitamin D levels increase. According to Harvard Medical School, vitamin D helps fight off conditions including osteoporosis, cancer, heart attacks, and depression. As many as three-quarters of the population is vitamin D deficient from spending too much time indoors.
- 2. Improve Mood: Being exposed to light has been shown to improve happiness levels and mood. So take advantage of those extended summer hours of daylight, and drink in the natural outdoor light. It’ll lift your spirits!
- 3. Exercise in the Sunshine: Working out in your home during the pandemic is a great choice, but with the warm summer weather upon us now is the perfect time to exercise outside. Put on your walking shoes, and go for a jog or take a lap around an easy walking path. Get your heart rate up while you soak in the sunshine to get those mood-enhancing endorphins to kick in.
- 4. De-Stress in Nature: Spending time in the great outdoors has been shown to reduce stress levels, anger, and aggression. If those stresses aren’t mitigated, they can elevate your blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension, and negatively impact how your nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are working. Reverse all that negativity with a quick walk around the block!
At each of our OHI campuses, we put in many hours to keep our grounds and landscaping in full seasonal beauty. Why? When people go through our program, they slow down and literally stop to smell the roses. They notice God in nature, and this is one of the spiritual disciplines embedded within our program, as important as prayer and meditation. To nurture oneself with nature is to see God in the beauty of the world — in the plants and flowers, in the birds and animals, and in the fruits and vegetables that nourish our bodies every day.
Studies show that time in nature increases our ability to pay attention. Because humans find nature inherently interesting, we naturally focus on what we are experiencing outside. This provides a respite for our overactive minds, refreshing us for new tasks. Spend some time in nature, and pay attention to how each of your senses is responding:
- What are you seeing?
- What sounds are you hearing?
- What scents are you inhaling?
- What can you feel on your skin?
- What tastes are you aware of?
As CDC guidelines evolve in this pandemic and some state/counties are loosening travel restrictions, we encourage you to enjoy time outdoors in a way that is both smart and safe — please continue to wear a mask in public, wash your hands, and physically distance. It’s a small effort to make to protect yourself and everyone around you.
So, hug a tree, and enjoy the healing power of nature for yourself!
Our caring staff is eager to give you all the unconditional support, inspiration, and transformational tools you need to bring your body, mind, and spirit into healthy balance in a serene, peaceful setting. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.
“How does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing?”, takingcharge.csh.umn.edu
“Why you should nurture yourself with nature”, myseniorhealthplan.com
“Nurture Yourself in Nature,” by Judy Klipin, judyklipin.com