I wouldn’t call myself an “outdoors” person. I never had a desire to go camping or hiking in the woods, or to go fishing because there can sometimes be dangers in the wild—like ticks, spiders, and bears to name a few. Yet I realize how being outdoors has influenced me in different stages of my life.
I spent a lot of time outside in my childhood years. There was so much open space for us to roam back then. I remember being young and wild and free. Running and playing Tag and Hide-In-Seek with my sisters, neighbors, and cousins. After school, on the weekends, over the summer. Until it got dark and the street lights came on. Sometimes, I would scrape an elbow or a knee on rocks, cement, or dirt. I saw these marks as a rite of passage of some sort, that they proved how tough I was.
As a teenager, I found a new purpose for nature. Sometimes when my father had upset me, I would go outside. It was in the tall, green trees and the colorful flowers that I found peace. The breeze floated around me and calmed me. Seeing these beautiful gifts that God created allowed me to focus my mind away from all of the turmoil.
Now, I open the blinds in my bedroom, dining room, and living room every day. With the natural light of the sun seeping into the rooms of my home, I feel less closed in. I have been working from home for about two and a half months now. As of recently, I find that I have been having trouble regulating my moods. Staying in the house for a prolonged time has damaged my mental health. The progress I had made beforehand seems to have gone out of the window. When I am able to go outside for a while, I notice that it helps me to feel better.
Seeing the beauty of nature is a simple thing that I think we should all take the time to do. Even if we are social distancing, it doesn’t mean that we can’t spend time outside. We just have to be smart about it, and do our best to stay safe.