It’s a New Year and according to statista, the number one New Year’s resolution Americans will make is to “do more exercise or improve my fitness”. Fifty percent of those who participated in the poll mentioned exercise as their main goal. Losing weight was a close second, at 48%. With over 74% of us , age twenty or older, being overweight, or obese, that is not a bad idea.
The truth is, however, there are said to be four pillars of health; nutrition, exercise, relaxation, and sleep. These four elements work together to keep our minds and bodies healthy. Focusing on just one pillar will not lead us to the overall wellness goals we are really trying to achieve.
There is one element that is central to achieving success in each of these four pillars. That key element is nature. Connecting with nature can help us successfully enhance and integrate each of these pillars so we can lead a healthy lifestyle.
So why not set the intention of increasing our connection with nature this new year? Start the new year off by experiencing the many holistic benefits that Mother Nature is willing to share with us so that we can lead a healthier, more joy-filled life?
We invite you to sign-up now for our free, e-newsletter at www.TheNatureNurse.com. Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and enter your email address. You will receive occasional emails with information, research, resources, tips, and much more on how you can deepen your relationship with nature, and by extension enhance your health and well-being.
Looking for information right now, so you can get started right away while your motivation is hot? Visit The Nature Nurse™, PLLC website and perhaps one of these options will be just what you are looking for:
We love nature and have experienced the many holistic benefits she offers. With over 1000 studies showing that connecting with nature is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle, we are committed to sharing this joyful way to practice self-health. This year we will be launching new programs and opportunities so be sure to stay in touch!
Let’s start the New Year off in a healthy direction. By setting the intention to deepen our relationship with nature we are sure to invite amazing new experiences into our lives which will enrich our health and well-being.
Author: Susan Allison-Dean, MS, RN, AHN-BC, CCAP. Susan is a Board Certified Advanced Holistic Nurse with over thirty years of nursing experience. She is also a Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Professional.
Globally, a growing number of nurses are intentionally partnering with Mother Nature, incorporating her natural elements into their practice as awareness grows of the essential role our natural world plays in our health and well-being. Connecting with our natural environment is now recognized as important to living a healthy lifestyle as getting rest, eating well, exercising and managing stress. In fact, nature significantly impacts all of these pillars of health.
Atiya Wells is one such nurse. She has founded Backyard Basecamp and now dedicates her full practice to this. I am pleased to share information about this site, which I paid a visit to recently; which is sure to be the envy of many cities.
Under the watchful eye of a wild, resident red fox, the sun gently rising behind him/her, I gave myself a self-guided tour of Backyard Basecamp, something I have been wanting to experience for quite a long time. For those who may not know about this 10-acre natural space in urban Baltimore, allow me to introduce you to this magical location. Part camp, part park, part farm, part playground, classroom, community center, health retreat, sacred space, and wildlife sanctuary, this communal area fills several needs in the local community.
I have been virtually admiring Atiya’s work for years. A few years ago, she caught my attention on social media with her first bold crowdfunding campaign to raise six figures for her vision to transform this unkempt lot into a welcoming natural space in order to (Re)connect Black, Indigenous and people of color to land and nature in the city of Baltimore. Atiya’s tenacity, can-do spirit, and connection to the land reminded me of another Black leader I admire, Rev. Richard Joyner, past recipient of the CNN heroes award. Both of these vivacious leaders seemed to have no fear and no limits, only big audacious dreams. They have a fierce passion to help their neighbors live healthier lives. I love these kinds of people!
With the help of a growing team, Atiya, and friends have created pocket gardens that allow local residents to engage with, and connect with nature.
At the entrance of the property is a little library filled with books. Just a few steps behind it, a fully-fenced garden filled with healthy greens and flowers. The bushy kale was glistening with an early season frost. They have generously donated thousands of pounds of freshly grown produce to their neighbors!
Walking down the trail, just a bit, I found a hoop house, and evidence that this crew is not afraid of hard, manual labor. This crew means business. They have big machinery on site, and future machine operators practicing with Tonka Trucks in a play space dedicated to children.
No farm is complete without animals. Chickens clucked away in their coop area, while goats bleated and gathered closer to the fence, perhaps in hopes that I brought food. The lambs behind them lounged on the grass. They looked very content to be here.
Doing their part to enhance our planet, they have planted trees, many which will bear fruit. Honey bees have a home here, as well, and plenty of pollinator plants to feast on.
Sauntering further along the main trail and I took a short diversion circling a small pond where one can sit and meditate, contemplate or pray. A perfect place to cultivate the practice of Blue Mind: a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peace, unity and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment that comes being on, in, near or under water.
The trail goes further into a 7-acre wooded space where people can also gather. A wide-open field makes me wonder what this group will come up with next.
All of this hard work has not gone unnoticed. In fact, Greg Cantori, the former owner of the lot adjacent to Backyard Basecamp, gave his lot, including a rundown house, to Atiya calling it an act of reparations. The farmhouse is being restored now and will provide some indoor space for the camp.
Atiya, and crew, have been featured on the Kelly Clarkson Show, numerous articles, news programs, and have won several awards including the first WW Wellness Impact Award.
In an era plagued with disease, strife, stress, friction, and inequity, Atiya Wells and all of the people supporting, and engaging, in Backyard Basecamp are a beaming light of hope, change and positivity. Be sure to follow them on social media: Twitter @Backyard_Base , Instagram @Backyard_Basecamp, Facebook @BackyardBasecamp. See for yourself all they do in this magical space! Their website: www.BackyardBasecamp.org .
Be sure to subscribe to The Nature Nurse™, PLLC blog now so you don't miss future blogs highlighting other nurses partnering with nature and lots of healthy information that you can add to your healthy lifestyle toolbox! Please like or share this blog so your friends can benefit from this information too.
For many of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, the world outside our doors is going through its annual Autumn rituals. The full Hunter’s Moon just beamed in the dark cool sky, then lingered long into the morning before setting. Pumpkins, gourds and other fall vegetables are bountiful. The magnificent foliage show is performing right before our eyes.
Following the lead of the trees, we too can shed what no longer serves us in order to store up energy to grow stronger. Deciduous trees of all types are cutting of their connection with the leaves that grew on their fingertips, once lush and green; allowing them to metamorphosize into blazing shades of reds gold, orange, eventually into brown.
We can lighten our load, too, so we can retain our positive energy for the darker months ahead. Let’s take a look at how each of us can do this, letting go of one leaf at a time.
First, we need to identify what no longer serves us. Maybe we aren’t eating the food that best nourishes our bodies and we need to let go of unhealthy choices. Who are the people in our life that we may love, but they are constantly dragging us down with their drama? What limiting beliefs are we allowing to invade our minds, filling us with doubt or fear? As you identify your dying leaves, write them down if you need to. There’s no rush. Notice how all the leaves don’t fall off a tree in one moment. It’s a slow process. We can shed our leaves slowly too.
Next, go outside and pick up some leaves, then stand next to a pond or river. Pick one of the items on your list, let’s say, for example, “I am letting go of doing for others what they can do for themselves.” Toss the leave into the water, mentally releasing this burden, and watch as the leaf floats away. Repeat, release, as often as you desire over this Autumn season. Notice the relief you may feel, a sense of newfound inner strength, perhaps space to fill with new, more positive thoughts, relationships, or behaviors.
As the days ahead continue to darken, we may want to use this time to go deeper inside ourselves. Reflect on the year that has passed, write down what we are grateful for, and explore what exciting ideas and desires are starting to stir inside our newly cleared space.
Learn more holistic ways to experience joy, enhance your health and well-being by subscribing to our free newsletter! Visit our home page for the link.
Writing is a wonderful craft that allows us to share thoughts, information and maybe even inspire others in some way. It requires discipline, tenacity, and if we are to practice this craft long-term, self-care.
The act of writing often requires long sessions of sitting, most often in front of a computer. Lucky for us, there is an antidote for the potential job hazards a writer may incur. It lies right outside our door.
Let’s take a look at three, although there are many more reasons, we may want to stop what we are doing right now, or schedule breaks during our day, to go outside and take a walk.
ONE: A walk outdoors can boost our creativity. A study comparing walking in different settings found that walking outdoors has the most beneficial impact on stimulating the free flow of ideas.
Do you take a stroll in nature to enhance your writing? I know I do. I always venture outdoors and meander, or power walk around the neighborhood, or in a local park. The ideas that flow into my mind can be almost overwhelming at times. The ideas that I want to hold onto, I dictate into the Voice Memos app on my phone to record them in rough draft. Some, I transcribe later for various writing projects.
TWO: Writing is generally a solo journey. Isolation and loneliness can be a side-effect. Walking outdoors often leads to contact with other people, which may present a chance to have a chat, especially if they have a cute puppy with them.
THREE: Taking steps in natural surroundings is good for our overall health. According the Center for Disease Control, one in four American adults sits for longer than eight hours every day. Our sedentary habit even has a new name, sitting disease, and has been called the new smoking. The American Heart Foundation outlines the many negative consequences of sitting and ways you can improve breaking the habit of prolonged sitting.
Does walking outdoors awaken your creativity? Share how in the comments section below.
To learn more about how walking can enhance your health and well-being, I invite you to listen to this podcast, while you are outside taking your walk: The Joys and Benefits of Walking with no Destination from 1a.
Don't stop there. Visit The Nature Nurse™, PLLC website where there are an enormous amount content on how engaging with nature can enhance your joy, and improve your holistic health. Be sure to sign up for our free e-newsletter.