It is the time of year where we begin to think about all the things we are grateful for. We are thankful for our jobs, our families, our support systems, and all the good things we come across in our day-to-day lives. But sometimes we need to step back and remember to be thankful for the beautiful world around us. A great way to do that is to, well, step out into it!
Emojis of falsely cheerful families and angular trees not really doing it for you these days? Choose to spend time with your family and the trees along the trail this Thanksgiving! Not only will it give you the chance to connect with those you love and the natural environment, but you’ll probably be given the gift of a renewed sense of calm. Some studies have demonstrated that putting down your phone and computer can reduce stress, and it’s clearly the case that ditching the tech for an afternoon will give you more time to wander down whichever path seems right to you! (Go ahead, do it right now!)
Step Away from the Noise Pollution
Anyone living near metropolitan cities or highly urban areas learn to tune out the sounds of the city. Being surrounded by these sounds on a constant basis can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects, heart attacks, and changes in social behaviors.
To relearn the beauty of nature’s comparative silence, take a 30-minute walk through your local nature reserve or tree-filled park. Go for a beach clean-up day at the ocean and bring your family. Hit the slopes with your friends and try a run that’s less traveled to take advantage of the wide mountain silence. Any natural environment can offer relief from the constant bombardment on your ears and mind, and can help you tune into the sounds of birdsong and your own breath, rather than the honks and hums of the city.
Go Camping & Reset Your Internal Clock
Whether you travel often, have an undesirable sleep schedule, or just want to get more in tune with your internal rhythm, try immersing yourself in nature for a few days. Leaving your daily, indoor routine can help you realign your sleep patterns with your circadian rhythm, sometimes known as your internal clock.
Things like jet-lag can cause a disruption to your circadian rhythm, as it throws off your typical schedule. Spending a few days camping can reset this, which can affect your sleep cycle, hormone release, digestion, and even body temperature. Waking up with the sunset is not only an awe-inspiring way to witness the beauty of nature, but it can also help you sync up more effectively with your internal clock.
Get Some Mud on the Tires
According to research, getting dirty is good for you. Studies have shown that children who get a little dirty have more effective immune systems and that playing in dirt exposes you to good bacteria, and can boost your mental health.
Don’t be afraid to adventure this Thanksgiving! Whether you go mudding in the family four-wheeler or play a game of flag football in the park, remember that a little dirt can’t hurt! (I may even help!)
Regain Your Sense of Wonder
From the beaches of Fiji and Arizona’s Antelope Canyon to the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland and the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland, the natural beauty of our world has endless breathtaking beauty to offer. The world can be overwhelming and it can seem like no part of it has gone untouched by industry, but all it takes is a step outside to see that there is always a natural wonder to behold.
Be Grateful For the Planet
The Earth gives us so much—from fresh springs of water to the resources that contribute to our lives, health, and happiness—so it’s important to give back as we share our gratitude! How can we best do so?
Protect Wildlands Check in with your local conservation groups to see how you can take active steps to prevent unnecessary reductions to wildlands. Look into volunteering for your local parks department or wildlife reserve to help maintain habitats and ecosystems. Think about making it a Thanksgiving tradition to pick up litter or join environmental protection volunteer efforts, so you can spend time with loved ones while making a difference for the planet.
Reduce Your Impact The most direct way we can give back to nature is to leave as little impact on it as possible. Using products that are safe for both you and the environment is a crucial part of following that mission. Many ingredients in common sunscreens, hair care, and body products can hurt our bodies, and are detrimental to the natural world around us. Be sure to check ingredients in these products before you head out on your next nature adventure, and try Stream2Sea products if you’re looking to make a change in favor of the planet.
This Thanksgiving, be conscious of how nature impacts your life, and gives back just by being there. Show your gratitude by reconnecting and making EcoConsious choices!