Holy Cow! Looking back, it seems like everything changed in seconds. None of us ever thought we would experience a Pandemic.
“This too shall pass”; I keep repeating to myself, “this too shall pass”. In life, we are always looking for some sense of certainty; now certainty is hard to find. Predictability is losing its footing with everything changing minute by minute. With all the pain and suffering in the world, it’s tough to remain calm. While it is important to stay informed, we must take a break from watching the news. To retain our sanity, it is important that we find ways to reduce our stress.
Remember, we are all in this together. It is also very important that we reach out and work together to support everyone around us.
For me, to survive each day, I go outside and head outside for a walk, numerous times a day. It lowers my stress and clears the cobwebs out of my head.
While we must acknowledge there is a lot of terrible circumstances in the world. It is extremely important that we take care of ourselves: both physically and mentally. Guess what, if we don’t take care of ourselves; we can’t care for others.
We are fortunate that nature is everywhere. It’s in your yard, neighborhood, or in our parks or the greenways.
I have listed below five safe ways to lower your stress by spending time outside in nature.
1) Take a walk around your neighborhood – while socially distancing, explore new paths and wave and talk (at a distance) with neighbors. This can be a good time to make new acquaintances. Connecting with neighbors can be very positive
2) Go for a walk in a nearby open space or park – Turn everything off and breathe in the fresh air. Look up and see what shapes are being formed by the clouds. Focus on the magnificence of mother nature by observing all the trees. Try to identify the different types of trees.
3) Take a trek out on our greenways – let the beauty of our planet earth surround you. Listen to the birds and take in the fragrances of the woods.
4) If you can’t take a walk, go out on the patio, or front porch. Be a people watcher, or take joy in watching the birds or squirrels
5) Take a break from the news and go outside or (at least look outside) and read a book. This can be a good time to close your eyes to pray or meditate.
Other stress busters can include
- Being kind to everyone who crosses your path during the day. This practice can play a big role in your general happiness during the day.
- Volunteer or help someone in need. Giving can be very fulfilling. In the words of Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Serving others also gives you a sense of purpose.
- Spend time on the phone with a friend and just listen
- Spend time with family and play games or work on puzzles
- Have a party with family and friends using Zoom or anther video conferencing apps
- Order takeout from a local restaurant. Not only does this give you a break from cooking, but the restaurant workers are very appreciative.
I urge you to go outside with a family member, friend, or four-legged family member. Go for a walk and talk about the positive attributes of your lives. Share ways to destress. Or discuss how you are going to volunteer or help someone in need.
Working together, we will all get to the other side of this.
Are you in?