“Forest Bathe” This Summer with the David Suzuki Foundation’s 30X30 Nature Challenge

The weather grows warmer as we plunge towards summer. Soon, many people will be spending more and more time outside, beneath sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats. As the colours of spring and summer surround us, there is more of an incentive to get out of the house for weekends, holidays, and evenings.

In an article for the Georgia Straight, David Suzuki wrote that breathing in plant-based essential oils and good bacteria can actually contribute to improved mental and physical health. As if sunshine and fresh air needed any help being more wonderful than they already are!

With 70% of Earth’s population now living in urban environments, according to the above article, city-dwellers are 21% more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders and are 39% more likely to be diagnosed with mood disorders than those living in rural areas.

To encourage people to embrace the healthy benefits of their natural surroundings, the David Suzuki Foundation proposes that people endeavour to spend at least 30 minutes outside a day for 30 days, starting in May. The 30X30 Nature Challenge is heading into its fifth annual cycle this year. There is even a spot to register for the nation-wide event (as an individual, group, or organization) on the FAQ linked above.

Appreciating nature can be as easy as taking a walk through the trees, spending time with family at the beach or by the water, stargazing away from light pollution, bird watching with a loved one, or meditating in a park. Not only is this good for your health, but it can help you become more aware of and familiar with the areas around where you live.

You could also grab a sketchbook or camera and turn your outdoor experiences into an artistic endeavour. If you are struggling to think of things to do outside, you can take some suggestions from the Daily Tips on David Suzuki’s 30X30 website.

Need a good book to complement your meditations on nature? We recommend Tree: A Life Story by David Suzuki and Wayne Grady.


Featured Image Credit: Angela Benito

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