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July Wellness: Focus on Environmental Awareness

Unplug & Recharge with Nature

Our smartphones are glued to our hands and seem to be a permanent extension of who we are. We have the option to stay connected 24/7. With many different screens dividing our attention, it’s easy to forget one important connection – a connection with nature. Spending at least 120 minutes weekly in nature is linked with good health and well-being.

Challenge yourself to turn off your devices and enjoy the outdoors this month. Pause to watch a sunset or listen to birds chirping. Make time to walk a tree-lined street to nurture your connection with nature. Spending more time in nature can improve your mood and lower your stress. It may even lead to more generosity and kindness.

Now that summer is here, it’s the perfect time to unplug and reconnect with the natural world. Spend time outside to enjoy some fresh air the next time you feel stressed. Find time to take a hike in the woods or plan a camping trip. Many national and state parks have paved trails that are short and easily accessible.

If you live in an urban area, simply taking a walk outside without the distraction of screens can improve your mood as well. Spending more time outside is also a great way to soak up more sunlight. Sunlight may play a large role in improving emotional health. Soaking up the sun outside is a great way to get vitamin D.

Spending 5 to 15 minutes, 2 or 3 times a week in the sunlight can improve your energy and mood. Although sunlight is great for your emotional well-being, don’t forget to protect your skin. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen, SPF 15 or higher, even when it’s cloudy.

If you can’t find time to go outside, you can still add a little green to your indoor space. A simple plant in the room can make you feel less stressed. Listening to the sounds of nature, like recorded thunderstorms or ocean waves, is also a great choice when the outdoors isn’t accessible to you. For guidance on supporting your personal well-being, talk with your primary care provider.

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