Getting out in the fresh air last week was good medicine. After weeks of bitter cold and no outside play, the emotional state at our home was fussy and we all seemed to be lacking energy. Outside time was just what we needed!


Getting out in the fresh air last week was good medicine. After weeks of bitter cold and no outside play, the emotional state at our home was fussy and we all seemed to be lacking energy. Outside time was just what we needed!

As we ran down the driveway trying to keep ahead of our dog, we took advantage of the mountain-like hill of snow in our front yard - sledding, climbing and wrestling. It felt like all the junk and clutter within us was blown away by the warm gentle breeze. We laughed and appreciated the fresh air and sunshine. If we didn’t have to eat lunch, we may have stayed outside all day.

There is extensive research that shows contact with nature is helpful for our emotional state, attention, mental fatigue, behavior and personal health. That is just being in nature, without even adding the benefits of exercise. Just five minutes of fresh air a day is said to boost self-esteem (Live Science). Fresh air cleans our lungs, allowing us to breathe deeper. Deeper breathing brings more oxygen to our cells, ultimately creating, better energy and clearer minds. Our busy lives may not always allow us time for a nature walk or a trip to the park, but five minutes - I’ll bet we can find that much time in a day to get outside!

An article in Science Daily commented on the urban shift of our world,  “In 2007, more than half of the world’s population lived in urban rather than rural areas for the first time in human history.” Although there are many conveniences to urban living, the barrage of constant stimuli; fast pace, traffic, etc., can be draining to our minds. Trying to pay attention to it all can be hard work. Particularly indispensable then, is the need to balance all that stress and busy-ness with some time spent in nature. Nature offers an uncomplicated demand on us. Without having to tax our brains or give anything in return, just being in nature, the calming, stabilizing energy emanating from natural living things, trees, flowers, lakes, mountains, etc. is offered to us. We are given a chance to recharge. 

The next time you sense fussiness developing, low energy abound, parenting skills declining, aggression increasing, your playful spirit stopping - take five and breathe in that therapeutic fresh air!