Outside is calling
Two weeks ago, we were advised to socially distance ourselves. Last week the governor told us to shelter in place. What is so amazing about this is that in the last two weeks, I have seen more people outside around my community than I have seen in a couple of decades. It makes me so happy to see people outside. I see children playing in their yards. I have never seen some of these kids before and they live in my neighborhood. Amazing!
Even though this bad thing of a harmful virus is making some people sick, restricting our work, and isolating us all, most of us are together with our families. That is a very good thing unless you hate your family. As good as this together time is, we can drive each other crazy. That is why it is so good to get outside. Outside is calling. Getting outside and being in nature is a really healthy activity. In fact, going outside every day is important for adults and children. Studies show that the health benefits of being outside include: relieves our anxiety, helps fight off depression; sunlight elevates our mood, provides opportunity to exercise, increases our intake of vitamin D, protects our vision, reduces inflammation, lowers our blood pressure, boost our immune system and helps us sleep better. Being outside helps us dream, reflect, pray and give thanks for all our blessings.
For children, being outdoors should be part of their daily routine regardless of weather conditions. To develop normally, children need to go outside to explore, imagine, run and play. This is their work. They need to have space to move their bones and muscles. This is how they grow. Parents, we are the leaders of our children. It is our responsibility to model and give them opportunity to be outside. We need to provide a daily dose of the outdoors for our children so they can use their senses to explore and discover the beauty and wonder of nature. This also allows them to burn off some energy. The last time I checked, having energy was a good thing. As I age, I wish I had more energy. I feel most alive when I am outside being active. Outside is calling! Use this extra time with your family and go outside. We can even see and talk to people from a distance. Get off the screens and get moving. I encourage you to go outside and get some fresh air. Take a walk, stroll the baby, hike a trail, walk the dog, ride a bike, go to the park, work out, play in the yard. Our yard and gardens are calling. It is time to recognize our creator out in His creation.
In the past two weeks, I have also had the privilege of traveling this country and observing its beauty. I flew from Newark, New Jersey to Phoenix, Arizona to join my husband at his conference. I got to see it rain in the desert. The smell was fresh and sweet. We drove to Los Angeles, California to enjoy our daughter and son in law for a weekend. We hiked in the rain, stood on a mountain and watch the city appear as the fog lifted. I then flew to Kansas City to meet my other daughter who had to leave the Air Force Academy due to coronavirus. We drove through the stunning Ozark region of Missouri down into Arkansas. We drove to Memphis, Tennessee and visited Graceland and walked the empty Beale Street birthplace of Jazz. As we walked, we found ourselves at the Loraine Motel site of the assassination of MLK. Talk about surreal. This adventure and discovery happened because we got outside and explored. We took the time to enjoy each other and we “Stopped and Smelled the Roses” along the way. We then traveled to Nashville, Tennessee home of the Grand Ole Opry and Music, music, music. It was St. Patty’s Day but the famous Broadway Street was empty. We traveled along the long and narrow state of Tennessee along with every truck in America and hit the Blue Ridge Mountains as we headed for Lynchburg, Virginia and then home to Pennsylvania. It is perfect weather all over this nation to go outside. It’s not too hot and not too cold. Spring is emerging everywhere. New growth, flowers blooming and the sweet aroma of life is all around us. Healthy Family Solution #1 – Get Outside – Move, explore, revive and reconnect with your creator.