There is a quote I often think about: “Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair” by Khalil Gibran.
I love that quote. I think it depicts perfectly the deep connection we have with these natural elements that surround us but we don’t always appreciate enough. It’s not like we don’t want to. It’s hard paying attention to anything really, when you’re stuck in a Quicksand of work.
However, it is reading week right now (YAY!!!), which means that you, fortunately, get a little time for yourself. And with the way the restrictions are currently in the way of our normal day-to-day-life, there perhaps isn’t much to do. But, it is important to note that just because you can’t throw the greatest Halloween party ever doesn’t mean you can’t go for a little spooky walk into the woods!
In fact, it’s something I would highly encourage. Nature looks even more splendid during autumn.
And – good news – it’s not only that, but nature actually happens to be very beneficial (I mean, really, are there any downsides here?!)
For instance, did you know that nature can help improve:
- Your stress levels
One usually feels stressed in an environment that is unpleasant or simply anxiety-inducing. Anything you can hear, smell, or see impacts your mood – so, naturally (haha), being in a peaceful environment can really increase those serotonin levels. Doesn’t that sound magical?
Additionally, sometimes being confined in your room or your flat can become demotivating and rather nerve-wracking. Seeing the same faces. Doing the same things. While a routine can be good for a period of time, it is good to switch things up every once in a while. We are creatures that are appreciative of a change of scenery – so, where else to go (and no, the pub is not the answer I’m after) if not to grab a breath of fresh air?
2. Your short-term memory
According to a University of Michigan study, spending time outdoors can actually help improve your short-term memory! That’s pretty darn brilliant. And you don’t even need to do anything but walk around, admiring the trees and flowers.
On campus, as you may well know, Hermitage Woods have very lovely scenery – with nice views, too, if you go all the way up there! Then, of course, there’s always Dumyat if you’re up for a challenge. There’s plenty of wonderful treks and dynamic paths to take to which need to be taken advantage of!
3. Your sleep
It’s true – spending time in nature can help you regulate your sleeping patterns. How timely. Better sleep sounds like something we could all use right about now after working hard days and nights on our assignments!
Plus, it’s such a satisfying tiredness one feels after being outside for a long period of time. You get to go to bed knowing that you saw something beautiful, maybe even interesting, and upgraded your health.
4. Your creativity
As I mentioned in one of my articles, it is a perfect time to get creative! One way to actually boost it is – you guessed it – to go outdoors.
Nature is covered in plenty of gorgeous colours right now, and is as beautiful as ever. Even a sunset, or sunrise if you are an early bird (or proper night owl – refer to point 3), can inspire creativity. There is so much in nature that needs sharing, especially because others may not see what you’re seeing and you desperately want them to see, to understand! Remember, you don’t have to be a painter. Photography is art, too.
And last, but not least…
5. Your happiness
The lovely thing about being outdoors is that you are not limited to the activities you can undertake. You can do anything from hiking to cycling around town to just sitting beneath a tree. Any activity that you enjoy will instantly boost your mood, and will definitely make you feel better than just staring at your ceiling like you might normally do.
With all these restrictions, it may be tough for some to find entertaining things to do that won’t quickly lead to boredom. Luckily for all of us, nature is safe and welcomes us with open arms any season and any time of day. It is worth giving it a shot, and clearing your head!
Featured Image Credit: images.fineartamerica.com