“There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” (Alfred Wainwright)
Something powerful happens to us when we go outside. Being outdoors can have a positive impact on our mental health and well-being, helping to reduce stress and boost hormones that promote happiness. Studies show that being in nature can calm busy brains. Nature is grounding. A few moments of fresh air can perk up a tired brain. Often after playing outdoors or having nature-based adventures, we have increased focus and attention, feel more creative and imaginative, and find it easier to solve problems. Plus, we’re naturally more active when we are outside! While researchers suggest that 120 minutes per week outdoors is the goal, simply going outside makes us happier. It can heal, soothe, and restore us.
In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we go outside.
As a class, group, or family:
· Make a list of some of your favourite ways to be active outdoors.
o Some ideas include: go for a walk, play hopscotch, visit a playground, jump in puddles, do a nature scavenger hunt, explore a forest path, balance on a fallen tree log, climb a tree, make an obstacle course, try some low organizational games like Octopus, Snake Tag or Red Light/Green Light, go through a sprinkler or to a splash pad, play a sport, hike, bike, rollerblade, skateboard, etc.
· Next, choose a time to go outside together for 30 minutes.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
How did it feel to go outside?
What changes did I notice for myself?
Connecting to our faith:
When we go outside, we see the world that God made for us. We see Creation – the trees, meadows, flowers, rain, sunshine. We learn about how our bodies were designed to move. In nature, we feel His calming and abundant presence.
Let us pray: Dear Lord, thank you for all You have made and given to us. Open our eyes to the wonder and beauty of the Lord. Help us to truly see and experience the splendor and diversity of your world each day. May we always find opportunities to marvel in wonder and awe at your creation. Amen.
· BOOK: “Slow Down: 50 Mindful Moments in Nature” by Rachel Williams and Freya Hartas
· ARTICLE: Government of Canada “Health Promotion – Social wellness: Get Outside and Socialize” www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/corporate/news/regional-news/western-sentinel/2022/06/get-outside-and-socialize.html
· ARTICLE: CMHA “The Mood-Boosting Benefits of Getting Active” https://cmha.ca/news/the-mood-boosting-benefits-of-getting-active/
· ARTICLE: CBC “Prescribing nature: Research suggests the outdoors are good for your mental health” www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-sept-6-2021-1.6163980/prescribing-nature-research-suggests-the-outdoors-are-good-for-your-mental-health-1.6163985
· ARTICLE: American Psychological Association “Nurtured By Nature” www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/nurtured-nature