Take Time to Reconnect with Nature

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I know many of you might be kind of bored right now.

Unless you are one of the essential employees protecting our life and health or providing us with food and other necessities, the world has gotten a lot smaller lately. Your commute to work might have shrunk to the distance between your bed and wherever your laptop is. Or maybe you aren’t working and dealing with all the uncertainty that brings. You also could be busier than ever, homeschooling your kids and keeping your household running, but feel trapped within your four walls. 

Might I suggest nature as an anecdote to whatever might be ailing you.

Because for all the things coronavirus has taken away from us these last few weeks, being able to enjoy nature isn’t one of them. You can easily practice social distancing while soaking up the sun in your own backyard, hiking the trails (which for the most part are still open in northern Arizona) and appreciating all the wonder that plants and animals have to offer.

Here’s just a small list of what getting outside can give you during these difficult times:

  • An escape. Don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful for all the technology that allows us to stay informed and connected. But every once and a while, I need to get away from it. 
  • Vitamin D. You can never underestimate the power of the sun to recharge your immune system. And just 10 to 15 minutes a day is all you need. 
  • Fresh air. Nothing like it to clear the head and calm the nerves.
  • Exercise. I think we’ve all heard the jokes about the “Freshman 15” and the “Covid 19.” Or how it’s hard to maintain six feet of social distancing between yourself and your fridge. Cooking is one of our big hobbies now and exercise is the natural counterbalance to all that extra eating.
  • Hope. Enjoying the beauty of plants and trees, listening to songbirds, inhaling the amazing smell of fresh-cut lawns and playing in the dirt always makes me hopeful. It puts things into perspective; the world is bigger than this crisis and it’s here for us to enjoy.

Obviously, being a gardening enthusiast, much of my outdoor time is getting my flowerbeds planted and putting in my veggies. Growing your vegetable garden and your fruit trees are another tangible – and really tasty – benefit of nature right now. 

But for those of you who can’t get out of the house or apartment, nature can come to your home in the form of houseplants. They offer many of the same benefits – cleaning your air and giving you something to grow. (If you are new to houseplants, I’m going to recommend a pothos. They are among the simplest to care for and are easy to propagate.)

So as you soldier on through these days, looking forward to a time when we can gather together again and emerge from our various lockdowns, I hope that you take the time to reconnect with nature. It has a lot to offer you, not the least of which is a promise of a brighter future to come.

Happy Gardening!