I googled my symptoms... turns out I need one thing

By Di Westaway | Chief Adventure Chick Wild Women On Top | Author of Natural Exhilaration

Do you ever feel flat, sad, mad, bad … or even lethargic, rushed, drained, stressed out, fuzzy, frantic, teary, chocolate deprived, sugar-obsessed or just plain fed up?

Do you ever smash around blindly in the dark to turn your alarm off wishing you could just stay under the doona forever?

Well, you might just need a good dose of nature.

My friend Susie swears by it. She realised she was missing something in her busy urban life when she reached out to her psychologist to get help with her worrisome thoughts and anxiety. She was told walking in nature could really help. So she grabbed her friend Jane and off they went along the river for a walk.

“We did it in our lunch break and it was so energising. We both felt great. But I need it every day to ward off worry,” said Susie.

Walking to wellness works. It’s also one of the best, cheapest, easiest things you can do to relieve symptoms of sadness and stress. Doctor Caroline West, says it’s great for everybody, especially those in stressful jobs. And you don’t have to fly to a forest or bike to the beach. You can just stroll around a garden or park for 10 minutes.

Hiking heals because it connects us with our deepest mother nature. Walking heals because it engages our bodies and minds in a timeless ritual which rejuvenates, revitalises and stimulates our biochemistry to repair and supercharge itself with many good side effects and no bad ones.  

World renowned Mark Wahlqvist, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Monash University, recommends “walking 30 to 40 minutes a day; keeping a garden; and ensuring access to a natural environment.”

So, stop worrying about whether you can squeeze in a gym workout into your lunch break or a weights session after work. Get outside, leap some puddles, feel the wind in your hair and the sunbeams dancing on your toes. And do one of these little rituals every day to experience Nature’s Nurture:

Get Outside: Get the goodness of green every day with a walk in the park, a stretch on the grass, a hug of a tree or a stroll in the garden.

Sunrise: Put comfy shoes and clothes out before you go to bed so you can slip straight into them for a sunrise stroll when the birds call and don’t hit the snooze button.

Buddy: Meet a friend for your walk ritual so you motivate each other, integrate physical with social activity and feel better.

Family: Include family in your fun so they get happy too.

Integrate: Take walks in nature to and from work or in your lunch break, even if it means taking a detour to get the goodness of green.

Visit: Local parks, seaside, forests, bushland, gardens and wilderness on weekends with friends and family.

Daily: Fall in love with nature as your gym by mindfully immersing yourself in its healing powers for a kick arse body and happy head.

Take: The kids to the beach, the bay or the river for family events and picnics.

Plan: Holidays in nature with family and friends to get a big dose to boost your immunity.

Garden: Get into gardening to rejuvenate and recharge. If you don’t have a garden join a community garden. If you’re too busy, take the kids to grandma’s garden.

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