Spring is well and truly here! Days are getting longer, the temperature is rising and the smell of star jasmine is in the air. There's something so very life affirming about the change of season from Winter, with its bare branches, to Spring, with its first hint of blossom and new growth. There really is no better time to be outdoors enjoying nature.
Nature and Health
The physical and mental health benefits of time spent outdoors in nature can not be overestimated, but are really only just starting to be understood. A 2019 study, published in nature.com found that spending at least 2 hours per week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing. The reasons for this are many, including, but not limited to, exposure to natural sunlight, which not only helps to regulate our circadian rhythm, leading to better sleeping patterns, but also helps to regulate our mood. Light therapy is often used in the treatment of depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Vitamin D from sunlight is also thought to benefit mental health, as well as being an essential vitamin to protect us against disease.
The calming affect of time spent in nature, away from screens, notifications and work, can also help to restore our mental state and lower our cortisol levels. In an over-stimulated world, our stress levels are often raised without us even noticing. A calm, mindful activity in nature can help to bring back some peace, clarity and balance.
Being outside is also more conducive to physical exercise and the many associated health benefits. It is far more appealing to take a stroll, brisk walk, jog, play a game, go for a swim, kayak or a plethora of other activities outdoors. Getting outdoors can provide the motivation needed to regularly move our body.
One often over-looked benefit of being outdoors, is the opportunity to reconnect with the Earth in the practice known as earthing, or grounding. When grounding, we absorb the abundance of negatively-charged electrons found on the Earth's surface which can help to restore and stabilise our biological state, resulting in many benefits, including reduced pain and inflammation, better sleep, lower stress, increased energy levels and much more.
While earthing can be practised indoors all year round, using an earthing product, Spring is the perfect time of year to start earthing outdoors. It is recommended to dedicate at least 40 minutes per day to earthing to gain the most benefit. If you're looking for some earthing inspiration this Spring, we've got some great ideas to get you outdoors, get you earthing and enjoying the many benefits that nature brings.
1. Take a hike
Or a stroll or a jog! If the weather and terrain allows, slip off your shoes and take a barefoot walk so that you have direct contact with the Earth. If barefoot is a step too far, there is a range of earthing footwear and accessories to help keep you grounded when outdoors, while still protecting your feet. At the end of your walk, you can find yourself a beautiful place to rest, kick off your shoes and rest your bare feet on the Earth.
2. Wave at the waves
There is no better place to ground yourself than at the beach. Who doesn't feel better after a barefoot stroll along the sand and in the shallows? It's no coincidence that we feel great and sleep better after a day by the sea. Any naturally conductive surface such as sand, soil, grass and rock is perfect for earthing and moist surfaces provide even greater conductivity.
3. Barefoot Picnic in the Park
Pack a healthy lunch, a picnic rug, a good book and spend a relaxing barefoot afternoon at the local park. Simply rest your bare feet on the grass as you while away the hours.
4. Green Thumb Earthing
Spring is the perfect time to get back out into the garden for some planting and maintenance. Getting your hands dirty and being in touch with the soil is a wonderful way to ground yourself while doing something productive and creating something beautiful at the same time.
5. Early Morning Me Time
One of our favourite times of the day for earthing is the early hours before everyone else in the house is awake and before the busy day begins. Enjoying your morning cuppa with your feet resting on the dewy grass is a fantastic pick-me-up to start the day.
There are many different ways to fit outdoor earthing around your lifestyle. Finding something that works for you and making earthing part of your every day is the best way to enjoy the many different benefits that earthing can bring. However, for those times when you simply can not be outdoors (hello, work!), there is a wide range of indoor earthing products available to keep you grounded all day and all night, while you work, rest and play.