GYM VLOG #7
Author: Julia Dulgerova
Some days you may feel stressed, unmotivated, tired, alone, or just not like yourself. And sometimes journaling or talking to a friend might help but the ultimate healer that we often ignore is right under our feet. Right in front of our faces. Right around us.
Nature has the magical ability to heal our bodies and minds. Starting the day off by going outside, standing barefoot on the grass, and taking deep breaths will be the greatest routine ever. Instead of checking your phone or going straight to a cup of coffee, go outside.
We often judge the weather. We don’t like it too gloomy, we don’t like it too sunny, we don’t like it too humid, we don’t like it too dry. But what if we appreciated the weather everyday no matter its state? All of us have bad days and so does the weather, but it’s the way you choose to think about that will determine the way you truly feel. And it’s no different for the weather.
A memory I will never forget is camping with my family. We have been camping every summer since I was 3 months old. It’s become a part of all of our lives. We used to plan trips around the weather like most people do, because who wants to be sitting in a tent when their water falls onto the tarp for hours? But my dad said something so wise but simple it made me rethink. It was pouring rain and my mom, and I were complaining “maybe we should leave and take the drive home, it’s raining”, and my dad simply responded “we’re not made of sugar, we won’t dissolve. What’s wrong with some water?”.
This simple answer made so much sense. We are constantly making plans around the weather, but what if we just appreciate nature for what it is? It rains on a day you wanted it to be sunny, go run around in the rain and jump in puddles!
Nature is incredibly powerful, and we often feel the need to judge it and honestly, hate it. But we should appreciate not only the beauty of it but the healing powers of it. So here are some ways you can connect with nature on a daily basis.
Start the day off by going outside.
As I mentioned early, the earth is healing and being barefoot on the grass is grounding meaning it has the power to improve sleep, reduce pain, decrease muscle tensions and lower stress. Grounding improves the state of your mind, body and soul. Can you imagine how big of an impact just being barefoot on the earth could do for your health? It’s incredible.
Take a walk.
Me and my mom have made it our daily routine to take a 45-minute walk in the morning. Before breakfast and right after we wake up. This sets us up for our day because we spent just a little intentional time outside and got to talk about our plans for the day. You can walk on a trail or just through your neighborhood or on the sidewalk. But intentionally setting some time where you can embrace nature is a great start or end to your day.
Soak up the sun.
So many people nowadays are so obsessed with hiding from the sun, slathering on sunscreen, and wearing rash guards. But have people forgotten about our roots as humans. Our ancestors lived in the sun, plants thrive in the sun, animals thrive in the sun, and we hide from it like it’s the plague. Seed oils are very high in omega 6s which cause inflammation by increasing oxidative stress on the skin cells, making them susceptible to sunburn! So, if you heard the argument “you have to hide from the sun, you’ll get sunburn and then get sun cancer” this is true, if you eat a garbage diet. So, I suggest detoxing your body from seed oils on the GAPS diet and embrace the sun! Sunlight helps our bodies produce vitamin D, which is essential for bone, heart, lung, dental, immune, nerve, and muscular health. So go outside and soak up the sun, stop hiding from it! Plus, sunscreen is full of hormone disruptors, cancer causing free radicals, and it’s just overall bad for your health.
Getting out in nature can significantly improve mental health! Benefits include improved attention, lower stress, better mood, reduced risk of psychiatric disorders and higher empathy for others. It calms our busy brains and slows us down a bit. Light and darkness is the key to our circadian rhythm so being outside in the sun for at least 30 minutes each day is great for synchronizing our brains clock to nature’s clock which reduces anxiety and depression and increases alertness. Even doing things like watching the sunset and sunrise keeps our circadian rhythm in check leading to many health benefits.
Digging your hands into the dirt will improve health too! Dirt has millions of bacteria and viruses that help our immune system develop healthily. Animals often eat dirt when they have stomach issues because soil offers protection against toxins. Of course, our soil isn’t the cleanest compared to centuries ago but gardening and getting your hands in the dirt allows your skin to soak up the minerals like a sponge.
I even like to go outside if it just feels like I have a lot on my mind and need to digest it all. Sometimes when you are in the shower it’s your time to think or go on a walk and don’t listen to music or podcasts. Just be in your mind and sort through your thoughts. We often try to escape our thoughts with entertainment, people, and more. But actually, dealing with what’s on your mind can lead to lots of clarity, closure, and healing. And getting out into nature will help you heal even further and quicker.
So, if you ever feel overwhelmed, tired, confused, or just like you need some time to recharge, use the power of nature to heal and calm you when you need it most.
Here are some links to resources that may help you to learn more about natures ability to heal!
Video about someone’s healing experience with nature
What’s grounding and how to do it