A few months ago, when we put our heads together to think about how we’d like to honor and celebrate Earth Day, we bounced a lot of ideas around. Should we do a monthly challenge, with daily ideas for reducing our impact on the earth? A giveaway with our favorite eco-friendly brands?
Pretty quickly, we realized three things… the first is that there is already so much information out there on how we can all contribute to a more earth-friendly culture and economy (which is a fantastic thing), and the second is that most of us already have enough stuff lying around. The third thing we realized is that for us, the purest and most honest way to honor this holiday is to go with our gut feeling and simply be outside. To shut off the computer, switch off the lights, leave our iPads behind and spend some time walking in the sun and the wind – to engage with the earth in a deliberate, thoughtful way.
Today, we invite you to commit to celebrating Earth Day by spending 20 minutes outside, whether that’s spent walking your dog around your block, catching up on paperwork on your porch, getting your garden started, or striking out for a hike. Here’s why: spending time outdoors has been proven to have myriad positive effects on our bodies, minds, moods and spirits. It’s the original cure for writer’s block and it’s the most fool-hardy fix for a sour, stressed mood or for that cross-eyed feeling you get when you’ve spent six hours staring at a computer screen. Let’s break it down:
Spending time outdoors lowers stress levels. Our immediate environment directly impacts our heartbeat, blood pressure and other stress factors; stepping out of a crowded office into the fresh air lowers cortisol levels and floods our brains with happiness chemicals, many of which are the same that anti-depressants mimic and supplement.
Being outside is like a caffeine kick for the spirit – it’s energizing and revitalizing, not only for our immediate moods but for our long-term vitality, immune strength and resilience to sickness and disease. Even for those who can’t get outside, bringing nature indoors is proven to help the body: recovering surgery patients who had flowers in their hospital rooms not only perceived less pain and therefore needed fewer pain medications, but they had higher moods and healthier heart rates.
Our brains enjoy time spent in green, natural spaces; studies show that cognitive functions like memory, attention span and creativity are all affected positively by being in a natural environment. Feeling like a deadline is looming but you’re short on inspiration? A walk outside may be just what your brain needs to start seeing things from a new perspective; you might find that your ideas start flowing.
It’s relaxing, too – not only in the lounge-on-the-couch sort of relaxing, but in the deeper, more soulful sense. By relieving tension and by helping to clear our minds of the clutter and rush of every day life, time spent outdoors helps keep our bodies (and skin!) in top shape for the long run.
The bottom line is that humans are meant to be outdoors more often than we’re indoors; it’s good for us, and we thrive in living natural spaces. Our modern lives have reversed that healthy ratio, so an effort must be made. Even if it’s just five minutes, or if it’s as many as twenty, your body will appreciate it, and your brain will reap the benefits long after you’ve headed back indoors. To us, that’s one solid way of spending Earth Day, letting nature seep into our beings and bring us back to balance.
Have a beautiful day!
Author: Tata Harper Team
The team at Tata Harper Skincare is passionate about promoting a modern, health-conscious natural beauty lifestyle that’s committed to safety, honesty and sustainability.