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April is National Stress Awareness Month. It is a time when people from all walks of life can learn about how stress impacts not only their day to day lives, but their health, their sanity and their overall well-being. In honor of National Stress Awareness Month, I wanted to share a few environmentally-friendly ways to help you lower your stress levels and live a happier and healthier life.
1) Get outdoors every day. Whether you spend 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes or more outdoors, getting fresh air and sunlight is good for you. Indoor air pollution is a real problem and with people working so many hours indoors these days, getting outside for a dose of fresh air is essential. Besides, sunlight gives you a little natural vitamin D, helps to lighten your spirits and improve your mood.
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In addition, when a person feels the stress of work, family, bills, etc. piling up, getting outdoors can help clear the mind and allow you to get your attention off your problems. Some people even find that getting outdoors, talking a walk or getting some fresh air helps to clear their mind and allow them to tackle obstacles better.
If you have kids, letting them regularly explore the great outdoors is a no-brainer. Studies have found that kids who spend time outside are less stressed, happier, healthier, and smarter. Don’t you want that for you and your kids?
2) Add some plants to your office and/or home. As I mentioned above, indoor air pollution is a real problem. People don’t realize how toxic the air in both their home and their office can become.
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Thankfully, there are plants that can help remove those toxins from the environment and clean out the air. Here are some of the top plants to reduce stress, cut toxins and help you live a little greener.
3) Plant a garden and grow some of your own food. Not only is growing your own food a way to eat healthier by ensuring the vegetables you are putting in your body are natural, organic and free of toxins, but it is a great way to lower your stress level too. Spending time tending to your garden can help relax you, allow you to get your hands dirty and truly create something wonderful (and tasty).
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Many cities now have seed libraries where you can “borrow” seeds and then either return seeds from your own flourishing garden or offer some of “fruits” of your labor at a local Farmers’ Market and such. Seed libraries are cropping up everywhere. Check your local area and find out if you have one near you.
Well those are three very simple and truly environmentally-friendly ways to de-stress in honor of National Stress Awareness Month. Of course there are numerous other ways you can lower your stress levels on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis, but I figured these three would give you a good start. So why not get going now. Let’s begin with taking a deep breath, getting up from your chair, going for a walk and taking a look at the wonderful world all around you. See you outside!