With the dizzying escalation of concern – and reaction – to the coronavirus, you may be wondering: what are the implications for spending time in nature?
First, to mitigate the spread of the virus, it is important to remember that regardless of where one is, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations on “social distancing”. The CDC defines this as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.” This is the case whether you are in a grocery store – or out in nature.
But at Nature Sacred, due to the nature of our work, we want to shed light on another insidious effect of the virus: an increase in levels of anxiety — a corollary of the spread of the virus that fewer people are talking about. Fears related to the virus have grown to such a degree that the WHO issued guidelines for protecting mental health during the outbreak.
Based on what we know of nature’s power to mitigate anxiety, and to help heal in times of acute stress, we believe here at Nature Sacred that incorporating healthy practices of “reflecting time” in nature will add to our overall health and wellbeing as individuals and society. Anxiety and stress are two conditions that nature has been scientifically documented, time and again, to have a real impact on mitigating.
While we emphatically urge the public to heed the CDC’s recommendations regarding contact between individuals, we also encourage the public to seek respite in nature. To find a nearby Sacred Place, here’s a link to our map. Or find a nearby nature park to take in some fresh air, and take a moment to yourself.
As uncertainty and anxiety grows, we encourage everyone to remember to step outside; to spend at least 20 minutes a day in a space that encourages respite and calm.