I never understood why Professionals (Doctors and Teachers) are so quick to diagnose children with attention disorders the second they “act out” or decide not to pay attention for a split second. I can’t believe I am about to say this…. but, “when people my age were younger” and acted out, all we needed to do was be engaged in an activity.
We didn’t have time to be bored or restless. I remember riding bikes with Dorit, Val, and Co. after school till it got dark out and if I wasn’t riding bikes or running around, I was in karate lessons, dance lessons, acting classes. I didn’t get my first cell phone till the age of 17 when I started driving and now you see children who aren’t even able to walk yet playing with an iPad!
Nature is the best medicine.
I find myself getting so restless, some days more than others. It’s been raining since Sunday and will continue raining through tomorrow… these rainy days are bad but what gets me more is when the sun is shining and I am suffocating inside.
While looking up the forecast for this weekend, I came across this article titled, “Are You Nature-Deprived?” It begins by telling a story about a family bringing their child to the Doctor to discuss her temper tantrums. Dr.Zarr learned that the majority of their weekends were spent inside. Instead of diagnosing her with behavioral issues, he advised the family to spend time outdoors. At the follow-up visit, the family noted the tantrums had stopped.
Negative effects of nature deprivation:
- Auto-immune disorders
Interesting note taken from Richard Louv’s, “Last Child in the Woods” :
Today, average eight-year-olds are better able to identify cartoon characters than native species, such as beetles and oak trees, in their own community. The rate at which doctors prescribe antidepressants to children has doubled in the last five years, and recent studies show that too much computer use spells trouble for the developing mind.
The same goes for adults… People spend so much time behind a computer and phone that they forget how to socialize. We make plans via texting rather than calling, we tell stories via email or texting rather than face-to-face. It seems to be a burden to be around people.
Instead of trying to make connections with people online, why don’t you join a club or group activity? Come on my flower children, go outside, enjoy the world around you.
Positive effects of spending time outdoors:
- Boosts mental health
- Reduces stress
- Boosts your immune system
- Helps with focus and creativity
- Burn calories (walk, run, play!)
So, my question to you is, when was the last time you were outside? Did you feel better? Parents- do you find that time spent outdoors with your children result in better behavior?
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5 thoughts on “Craving Nature”
Girl, I’m DYING for some nice weather. And maybe some greenery. Although, last Saturday was pretty awesome. 61 degrees! Willie and I spent some quality time in the Palisades Interstate Park.
Relevant story time: a couple years ago I went back to school to finish my degree. I was carrying 21 hours and COMPLETELY stressed out. I started to panic because the words in my textbook started blurring together and I thought for sure I couldn’t cram another fact into my brain. In total desperation, I pulled up Google maps and looked for green spots. I found, quite by accident, a nature preserve in Englewood called Flat Rock Brook. I hopped in the car and drove straight there. When I saw the trees and the trails, I literally burst into tears from relief. I studied there nearly everyday for the next several months – I’d hike their trails for about a mile, then park it next to a stream-fed pond to read my textbooks, and then hike back when the sun went down. I am convinced that if I hadn’t found that spot, I never would have graduated, and certainly not in the top 1% of my class. So, three cheers for nature!! 🙂
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Everything is coming full circle… when I was very overweight, I didn’t want to move bc I was tired, lazy and always felt so sad. Once I started losing weight, moving around became so much easier… walking Marty become so much fun… we went from walking around the block, to walking a mile, etc… I felt myself becoming happier and more energized. The energy around me became more positive. This weekend is supposed to be in the upper 40s which isn’t too bad. I will bundle up and spend time outdoors. Congrats on being in the top 1%, smarty pants!
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Likelikelike – Yes, exactly. I’ve had the exact same experience. I adopted my dog in part because I knew it would force me to get out of the house every day. What a difference it has made in my life! I used to be cranky and standoffish on the street. Now I smile and talk to everyone!
All we need is nature and our doggies
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