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Nature Reduces Stress (lots of photos!)

Saturday, April 11, 2020

One of the blog choices for Week 2 of my BSG Challenge team is very timely! Stress Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in April. Currently we are all under stress. What can you do to relieve stress?

My first thought was to make a list of all the things that I do, but I have already read several members’ blogs, who have done a fantastic job with this, so I decided instead to focus on one of the most important things that has helped me the past few weeks, and that is being out in nature.



Here is a quote I found from the article, “How Does Nature Impact Our Well-being?”

www.takingcharge
.csh.umn.edu/how-does-natu
re-impact-our-wellbeing


“Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. It may even reduce mortality, according to scientists such as public health researchers Stamatakis and Mitchell.”

Now that many of us are home bound for the most part, I think getting outside is of utmost importance. I feel fortunate that the weather in central Florida is beautiful at this time of year. In another month it will be very hot and humid, so I am taking advantage of any day I can enjoy the outdoors right now. I always feel happier when I take a long walk in the morning with my hubby. I have been more aware of the beauty of my surroundings, whether it is the gardens in neighbors’ yards, flowers planted at the square, the shape of a tree or the texture of the bark, and any of the wildlife I see and hear along the way. I’ve been taking lots of pictures the last few weeks, so I thought I would share some of them-in random order!


I also have been having my friend, Mary, Marilyn, and/or my backdoor neighbor, Deb over in my backyard to chat. We sit a good distance apart, facing the pond that is next to our property. We see lots of water birds there, as well as an alligator, who has shown up again.

We were mesmerized a couple weeks ago when a bluebird flew back and forth to a birdhouse residence to feed her babies, who were cheeping loudly. The next week they were all gone.

We had the giggles when two ducks came right up to Mary and me last week.

Dh and I have also seen them taking a dip and eating out of the basin at the bottom of the little waterfall we have in our back garden.

We also had a heron take a stroll through our backyard!

And I never seem to get tired of seeing the little anole lizards that visit us on our birdcage porch!


A couple of my teammates mentioned that they are going outside to garden recently, and while we don’t have to plant anything in our gardens right now and recently did trimming of our shrubs, I did have to do some weeding, so I went out for several hours this afternoon to clean the front gardens out. It felt good to accomplish that! Next will be the side and back gardens!

If you can’t get outside, you may want to try looking at nature pictures to reduce your stress. If I go on Facebook, I like to find the positive pictures and messages that people post, including nature photos from our community groups, and watercolor paintings in the different groups I belong to. I also have a lot of nature pictures on Pinterest that I love browsing through for a few minutes here and there. A couple examples I copied onto my phone (to possibly paint sometime!)


And finally here are a couple beautiful photos taken in our area by a guy who is a fantastic photographer!


Beauty is all around us...all we have to do is look and find the peace and joy in it! It can get our mind off of the daily worries in our world today.
Now we have the time to...






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