Regardless of the time of year, it’s important you and your family figure out time to unplug and get outdoors on a daily basis. This is especially true now the kids are back in school and spending a good five to six hours, or more, in the classroom each weekday. If you work a typical eight hours a day (or even less, hopefully not more), you need to make sure you incorporate a little “downtime” every day and on the weekends as well.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”Anne Lamott
I mean, think about it, we’re so connected these days that sometimes even the idea of unplugging seems like too much. But, in reality, we don’t need to be plugged in all the time. It’s good to unplug, and since indoor air pollution is a definitely a health concern, it’s also important (for your health and overall well-being) you have time each day to get some fresh air, wind down, relax and enjoy all the benefits nature has to offer.
Benefits of Being Unplugged and Outdoors
Although we could probably come up with countless reasons as to why you should unplug and get outside, here are a few of the main benefits associated with being unplugged and outdoors:
- You’ll have time to really reconnect and talk, face-to-face, with friends and family
- You can take an interest in and interact more directly with your children, spouse or significant other
- You’ll be able to get some space and focus your attention outwards rather than always on a computer screen or other electronic device
- You can take your mind off work and/or any problems you may have
- You’ll get some time for yourself to reflect or recharge
- You can get some fresh air and a little exercise, which often aids in overall health as well as sleep patterns
- Many people have experienced a variety of health benefits from spending time outside, including a boosted immune system and lowered blood pressure
- You’ll have an opportunity to breathe deeply and even tap into some natural aromatherapy
- You’ll be able to really observe the world around you and soak in some of the beauty nature has to offer
- Many people feel less stressed and more energized when they unplug and get outdoors
- Instead of being focused on others (via social media), you’ll be able to focus on you
- You’ll have time to make dinner or do meal preps for the week in order to eat healthier
- You can plant an organic vegetable or herb garden to grow your own
- You’ll get a daily dose of natural vitamin D (from the sun)
- Studies have shown walking in nature boosts creativity
Needless to say, the biofriendly and health benefits of taking some time to unplug and get outdoors go on and on.
Being Outdoors Isn’t a Thing of the Past
If you ask your parents and grandparents, or you might even remember it yourself (I sure do), spending time outdoors is what kids did after school and on the weekends. The idea of having to be inside all afternoon/evening was unheard of. Parents almost had to drag their kids indoors when it was time for dinner or when it started getting dark. Nowadays, parents have to pretty much pry their kids away from their electronic devices (phones, video game consoles, laptops, etc.) in order to get them to go outdoors.
Being outdoors shouldn’t be a thing of the past though. It should be a thing of the present and of the future. Getting kids (and their parents) outdoors is one of the simplest ways to reconnect with nature. Going for a walk, taking a hike or riding your bike are all ways to enjoy the great outdoors and gain a little more respect for the environment at the same time.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”Native American Proverb
It’s vital we not only teach our children how to respect and care for the environment around them, but we also show them the benefits of unplugging and connecting with nature by the example we set.