How can you find more joy in your day? What brings you joy? Actions For Happiness has a new calendar to help us find Joy. See below.
My suggestions for Joy are spending time in green space, being mindful and aware, and smiling more. Enjoy a Joyful June.
May is a magnificent month. I have been able to spend the first days of May outside gardening, biking, hiking and just looking for the new beginnings of spring. Birds are flying around my yard with nesting materials in their beaks, and I see new migrating birds everyday. The spring ephemerals(wild flowers): Dutchman’s breeches, spring beauty, bellwort, and blood root cover the forest floor with their magnificent plants.
May is Mental Health Month, and I promise you if you spend 20 minutes a few days a week connecting with nature and May beauty you will be much happier! Get outside daily to see the daily changes and beauty of nature. Look around pay attention and get connected to the outdoor world! I watch for butterflies, birds and new sprouting plants everyday.
The Actions for Happiness Calendar has ways to make your beautiful May Meaningful. See below.
Have you been outside today? Have you found beauty or something new in nature? If you haven’t spent some time outside today, do it now! This is the perfect time of the year to get outside, walk and experience nature. Relaxing time outside is a nature-pill.
It is my fear we have become such enormous TV watchers and phone addicts that we forget to get out of our houses and cars to enjoy the outside.
If you don’t have a yard, find a park or garden near you to which you can walk or bike. Hopefully it is quiet and a place you can experience the new buds and flowers on the plants and trees, or see the birds/butterflies, or just watch the clouds pass by. Spend just a few quiet moments to just breath, relax and observe. Be mindful of the time you have outdoors.
A new study from the University of Michigan tells how time outside makes people so much happier and less depressed and stressed.
“Our study shows that for the greatest payoff, in terms of efficiently lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol, you should spend 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking in a place that provides you with a sense of nature.” Mary Carol Hunter
“We know that spending time in nature reduces stress, but until now it was unclear how much is enough, how often to do it, or even what kind of nature experience will benefit us,” says Dr. MaryCarol Hunter, an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan and lead author of this research. “Our study shows that for the greatest payoff, in terms of efficiently lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol, you should spend 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking in a place that provides you with a sense of nature.”
“Participants were free to choose the time of day, duration, and the place of their nature experience, which was defined as anywhere outside that in the opinion of the participant, made them feel like they’ve interacted with nature. There were a few constraints to minimize factors known to influence stress: take the nature pill in daylight, no aerobic exercise, and avoid the use of social media, internet, phone calls, conversations and reading,” Hunter explains. Read more about the nature study here.
Take your free outdoor nature-pill, find outdoor beauty, plant seeds, touch, draw or picture, walk, observe, listen, and breathe.
Driving or using your phone doesn’t count, you need to find places near you. A place where you can take your nature-pill. I know you can find places if you try. Find a quiet place outside that helps you connect with nature.
Happy 100th Birthday to Our National Parks! Many of us have vivid memories of visits to our national parks. Our parks are for the common good of all, and are an important function of government. National parks represent The United States in history, culture, diversity, beauty and lots of fun! As citizens we need to make sure they are funded and cared for. Always be leery of politicians who are going to cut your taxes. That money is often from programs that are for the good of everyone, like parks. Only Congress can create national parks. Tell your congressman how important they are and to please fund them.
I love this article by Jillian Mackenzie “Europe has cathedrals. We have national parks,” said Stephen Saunders, neatly capturing the significance of these 59 national treasures, which include important monuments as well as parklands. But as we honor their majesty we must also recognize and address the biggest threats to our natural versions of Notre Dame. Read the entire article.
So what are you waiting for? Grab your walking shoes, a reusable water bottle, sun screen and visit a park near you. Happy Birthday, National Parks!