Jul 15, 2012

Time in Nature

"Time in nature may be one of the best and most accessible natural stress-busters any individual or family could find." Marti Erickson, developmental psychologist

This has always been true for me.  When I was in college and feeling particularly stressed by my schedule of obligations, I would drive to a nearby canyon and sit or walk by the creek.  Just being in nature was enough to bring me back to myself.  I still use nature and exercise in this way.  Today on my jog/walk on the trail through the woods I encountered first a range cow all by herself and later a deer, who was particularly unfazed by my presence.  No matter the weather, I prefer my exercise to be outdoors, because it serves two functions:  exercise and time with nature.  One of the things I like about the assisted living center where Dwane lives is the access to outdoors:  two gazebos in a garden-like setting and a koi pond.  When I visit him, we often sit outside in one of the gazebos.  Research indicates that just one hour interacting with nature improves memory performance and attention span by 20% (U of Michigan research).  Some ways you can enjoy nature and/or help your care receiver enjoy the benefits of nature are to have a garden or to have plants inside. 

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