Fall is upon us, finally the PSL is back and I can wear my favourite vest and plaid shirt with out feeling like I'm in a sauna. This is my favourite season because the beauty of Eastern Canada shows it's true colours...literally. The leaves will soon begin to change and going for a walk outside won't cause you to feel like you just sweat out the three burritos you had for lunch just by stepping into the sunlight. Don't get my wrong summer is great, the smell of flowers, patio drinks, and being able to get up in the morning and not have to bundle up for the arctic that is winter. Whether you are ready or not, Autumn is here, but don't worry, getting outside this time of the year is something you'll thank yourself for once it's negative a billion degrees outside.... trust me.
The easiest way nature helps with your mental health is that by going out into nature, your a forced to do physical activity. Walking, running, biking, swimming, kayaking, etc. forces your body to produce serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine or what makes you happy. Physical activity is proven to be something the body craves and by doing physical activity your brain releases more of these chemicals, thus changing your brain. Physical activity is also good for your physical health, so it's a win-win!
Even just looking at nature is scientifically proven to change the way your brain works, thus releasing more of those chemicals previously talked about. For those that aren't able to get out into nature, even viewing photos, paintings, or plants inside your home has positive effects on your mental health. Viewing nature allows the body to naturally relieve stress through inhibitors in the brain firing dopamine more frequently. Living in high rise apartments can take a toll on your body, mostly because locations where these apartments are, are in the "concrete jungle". By having plants or photos of nature, it allows you to trick your body into thinking nature is close by, therefor improving your mental health.
If you are able to get into nature, 10 out of 10 would recommend. This can be hard in Canada since 80% of Canadians now live in urban areas, but even going to a green space in a city or getting out of the city can boost your mental health exponentially. Nature allows the body to view something different and therefore is able to let your mind wander a bit more about your surroundings and a bit less about any sort of stressers in your daily life. A simple walk in the park or in the woods is a simple #selfcaresunday type of idea as well as excellent for cardiovascular, endocrine, and/or immune function.
Interacting in nature is also a very easy way to boost your mental health, as well as allow yourself to soak up some vital vitamin D. Creating a garden lets you see all your hard work grow and is also a great #selfcare idea. Then having something to show for, whether it be vegetables, fruit, or flowers, it allows you to see the hard work you put in actually turn into something. This may be a little harder to do in the coming months for anyone in the Northern part of the World, but inside gardens are also a thing and can be used to cook with or just to make your living space more mentally inviting.
So, get out in nature this fall and allow your mental health to become something that brightens your day instead of burdening it, and of course make sure you bring along your PSL when you go apple picking in the upcoming months!
Edited by Saddiebutaddie