Conversations on ConservationWellness through WildlifeCaring for nature boosts your mood

Caring for Nature boosts your mood

By Sierra Powell
Photo from Pexels

Self-care is a big part of our mental health and overall healthy life. More than simple indulgences like manicures, facials, and pedicures, self-care includes keeping regular doctors appointments, staying physically fit, and eating a nutritious diet. Self-care also includes knowing the signs of stress and anxiety and staying away from those stressors. It also includes maintaining a level of relaxation and tranquility to reduce the risk of stress creeping in. Continue reading to discover how nature affects our mood and how caring for wildlife is connected to our wellbeing.

In addition to nature being vital to our health and wellbeing, enjoying wildlife is equally important to our health. That is why going on a long nature walk, enjoying the sights and sounds from wildlife, while tiring, is also invigorating. It makes us feel motivated, stronger, and ready to connect with nature and take on more.

Connecting with nature includes more than simply going outside. Being connected to nature makes individuals feel part of the land that we live on and helps us understand our responsibility to it. Therefore, we must experience nature as often as possible and encourage others to connect and take care of nature, especially since it is also self-care.

Some ways that nature and wildlife work to put us in a better mood are:

Boosts Your Mood

It is hard to stress how beneficial spending time outdoors daily is to self-care and our mood. In addition to strengthening our immune system, fresh air and sunshine have several other benefits. Those include:

Fights Depression

Fresh air and sunshine help fight depression by boosting the serotonin in our brains and not only improves the mood, but it also helps us stay calm and focused on the positive.

Helps Get Better Sleep

Fresh air and sunshine help us get better sleep because the light of sunshine helps to regulate our circadian rhythm which in turn increases or decreases our melatonin levels.

Makes Our Immune System Stronger

The Vitamin D from the sunshine is crucial to reducing illness, reducing infections, and creating an overall stronger immune system.

Planting to Reconnect

Another way of connecting with nature and boosting your mood is by digging in the dirt and planting. That could be gardening vegetation for sustenance or plants for beauty. There is something about being in the sun, feeling the soil, and planting seeds that do as much for your mood, mental and physical health.

Some tips to begin gardening if you’ve never had one are:

• Decide on your site.
• Watch where the sun hits and plant there.
• Start your garden with great soil.
• Understand your area’s frost dates.

For planting a flower garden outside, some professional gardener tips are:

• If you want longer stemmed flowers, plant your flowers close together. Doing that reduces the number of weeds that can grow between them and increases the number of flowers that your plant will produce.
• For those who want to grow flowers to bring inside and make arrangements with, remember that you also need filler plants and foliage for your arrangements.
• To save tall plants from getting mowed, put rectangles that are made from flagstone around your flower bed. It helps your flowers from being trampled by blades and feet.

Nature Can Become A Sanctuary

Regardless of where you live, the above explains why it is important to get outside daily. If you are more inclined to sit back and enjoy nature, consider building a sanctuary for the wildlife that’s in your own backyard. Make it your place of peace and tranquility where you can allow nature and wildlife to boost your mood. You can enjoy, appreciate, and be grateful for the nature and wildlife in the confines of your yard. According to Kennedy Wild Bird Feed, there is a scientific study that found that those living in areas where they could see or at least had regular access to birds, shrubs, and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and stress. Therefore, creating a sanctuary for birds and having lots of greenery will significantly improve your well-being.

A Prescription for Nature-Deficit Disorder

The concept of nature-deficit disorder is the view that humans, particularly children, are spending less time outside and that this trend leads to a variety of behavioral disorders.

We have evolved as human beings to depend on nature to govern our emotions and behaviors. Completely shutting down our brains and bodies might have negative consequences. Getting outside may have a profound effect on your brain.
Over half of the world’s population already lives in cities, and this figure is expected to reach 70% within a few decades. Just as urbanization and isolation from the environment have increased drastically, mental diseases such as depression have increased significantly.

Relaxing in the great outdoors can be an extremely therapeutic experience. It can open your mind up to new sights, sounds, and perspectives. With the uncertainty of the pandemic and social unrest, it would be an understatement that people are stressed, scared, and burnt out. COVID-19 has become an inherent part of our lives. Some of us may recognize this stress but some people might not so it’s important to check in with ourselves, practice self-compassion, and be kind to others. Practice being more aware of this stress and actively make changes like going outside and experiencing nature to help you find inner peace and clarity.

As you have read, there are several benefits to your well-being from connecting to nature and caring for and appreciating wildlife. We hope this article sparks you to recognize when your well-being needs a tune-up and that you try out these suggestions.

Be well!