In the Late Fall issue of the Colchester Land Trust News was an article titled 'Nature To The Rescue!' by board member Cathy Shea. It spoke of the challenging year that has just ended and the need for healing emotionally, physically and spiritually making the case that nature has proven to be just the healer we need and even science finally recognizes the benefits.
Cathy's article is posted below with permission. It spoke to me and I hope it will speak to you also. A few minor changes were made so the article would apply wherever you live.
"After the last few months of one of the most contentious and stressful election campaigns in modern history, many of us - regardless of our left, right or center leanings - have probably experienced sleepless nights, frayed nerves, sadness, anger, despair, and a myriad of other unhealthy emotions. And, now, the stress of the holiday season is upon us!
"And so, one of the best things you can do for yourself right now is to get outside and connect with nature. Like no other balm, nature has a way of providing comfort when you need it most. Nature heals and lowers our stress levels. Nature calms our frazzled minds and restores to us a sense of peace. When you enjoy a quiet, contemplative walk in the woods, when you look up at the clear blue sky, or out into the deep, dark night sky, or across a wide expansive field of a nearby farm, it’s hard to see the world as a bad or stressful place.
"More and more, science is showing us that the more time we spend outdoors connecting with nature, the better we’ll feel. In fact, new research is showing clear and positive health effects from time spent in nature including lower incidents of depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and migraines, as well as improvements in mental focus, cognition and feelings of well-being. There is even some evidence, now, that "green" outdoor activities can reduce A.D.H.D. symptoms in children.
"Fortunately for us, we have many options for getting outdoors, from our parks, wildlife management areas and greenways to our town-owned recreation fields and woodlands to Land Trust preserves to our very own backyards. Be sure to make some time, this holiday season, to turn off the news and electronic devices, get away from the mall and get outdoors. Better yet - bring a few good friends along for the adventure and you'll be restored in no time!"
I couldn't agree more. So I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year and hope you will resolve to spend more time outside in the healing arms of nature.