April is Earth Month, and what a wonderful Earth we live on. There is a lot we don't know or understand about the world around us but the beauty and diversity found here is undeniable.
When we first made our website the statistics said that the average North American spent more than 90% of their lives indoors. For many that number was even higher during the pandemic. Yet recent statistics also suggest that more than 90% of Canadians say they feel better when they spend time in nature, whether doing an activity or simply being there, breathing in the fresh air. So why do we live so much of the time inside?
We reply on the nature for basic survival but often don't think much beyond food, water and air to the other benefits found outside. Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D3, which is important for immune function and a number of other processes that keep our bodies healthy and thriving. Fresh air and exposure to varying temperatures increases our resilience, making us stronger and more capable of dealing with every day stressors.
So much of our physiology is tied to the cycles of the Earth, and when we are disconnected from nature, we suffer in numerous way. Our circadian rhythm, which dictates our ability to sleep well, is also directly affected by how much sunlight we get and at what times of the day, when we eat, when we exercise and when we rest. All of that, in turn, affects how well we metabolize and digest our food, how productive we are at work, and how we deal with the ups and downs of life. Having a healthy circadian rhythm can impact everything from our body weight to our relationships, and the best part is, each person has capacity to correct it for themselves when it gets out of balance. We all get stuck survival mode at one time or another, and simple things like spending time outside can have a huge impact on our wellbeing.
While many people have always called time in nature - gardening, hiking, forest bathing, trail riding - therapy, nature based practices are finally getting the attention they deserve. The evidence of the benefits we can find there is overwhelming, and a wide range of studies back it up. It can help with depression, anxiety and a multitude of other health issues.
From an energy medicine perspective the Earth element represents supportive nurturing and loving caring. As we connect to the earth, we bring more of this into our own lives, which allows us to share it with others as she shares with us. The Earth not only cleans our water and energies, she can literally help to heal us if we make the effort to get outside and get grounded.