Stressed Out? Try this…

Nature

There aren’t too many things I enjoy more than being in nature.

For the first 16 years of my life I was blessed with a wonderful garden and a large park across the road from us in Sandringham. I spent most of my free time running around these open spaces barefoot having competitions with myself to see how green I could make my feet and trying to dodge massive rain drops as a thunderstorm started its onslaught..

Nowadays my challenge is how brown I can make them:

 

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What my feet look like after camping

 

With that as my life’s foundation, I’ve always found time to be outside (okay there have been some big gaps in-between) – and I definitely feel it when too much time has passed since my last date with nature. It’s usually at this time I organise a trip to a wine farm: to walk barefoot on their manicured lawns – what were you thinking?!

I believe many of our problems in the world today stem from the fact that we’ve become so disassociated from nature. Disconnected. Case in point we’d rather pop some pills than sit quietly in a garden.

 

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My folks garden

 

I’m in week two of my new found freedom and one of the benefits is more time for dates with nature. Just this morning I sat in my parents beautiful garden. I felt so much peace listening to the birds, watching bees fly around me from flower to flower. Just being an observer as life happened around me.

This after I met a friend for lunch at The Country Club Johannesburg in Woodmead yesterday; another oasis of peace in a bustling vibrant city. With glorious winter sunshine and a view of the Magaliesburg mountains in the distance, it was another opportunity to connect in nature. After a delicious meal she had the brilliant idea to go for a walk on the golf course. Great conversation coupled with the soothing sounds of nature meant I left feeling incredibly happy.

It’s one of the reasons I’m grateful to live in Cape Town – we have an endless supply of venues to eat and catch up with friends outside; not to mention all the hikes at our disposal.

Watching the bees I was struck by the amount that came to the flowers next to me. Us humans would have a report on how ‘inefficient’ this sales force is with more than one bee calling on the same batch of flowers. Each bee would probably be tracked and monitored with the amount of pollen brought back.

James, your performance is dipping, you’ve brought back 2% less than this time last year. You’re gonna need to work overtime this weekend to catch up.

Said no queen bee ever.

We’re all different and all have varying needs. Some people thrive on pressure that working creates for them; but we talking about the exception there not the rule. I find myself fascinated by the way life ‘just happens’. When you take a moment to watch life in motion you realise just how much of it happens every moment. Moments we’re usually absorbed by phones or glued to keyboards running reports.

I mentioned how I love to bare my feet on grass. Heaven to me quite frankly. According to Dr. Tracy Latz, M.D., M.S. on http://www.shiftyourlife.com; being barefoot is a natural stress release and health booster. Makes me wonder why people don’t go for more barefoot walks first instead of paying loads of money to see a doctor only to pay even more for pharmaceuticals which, I believe, cause more harm than good.

How much time do you spend outside in green spaces?

Not everyone is blessed with gardens – true. I myself don’t have one. It just means we should make more of an effort and why not?

Just look at the amounts of categories with research that’s been done below. You can click on this link to learn more about each one of them:

https://www.asla.org/healthbenefitsofnature.aspx

Adults

Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Asthma & Respiratory Disorders
Cognition
Depression
General Health
Heart Health
Hospital Recovery
Obesity
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Stress
Stroke
Type II Diabetes
Well-Being
Children

ADD/ADHD
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Cognition
Depression
General Health
Nature Deficit Disorder
Obesity
Stress
Type II Diabetes
Well-Being

I’m not saying its the best for every case; just asking what you have to lose trying it first?

How fortunate that I’ll get to be outside in nature every day next year. I might even have to try walking up barefoot on one of the days.

Nature is home


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