Between Two Worlds: Stressed? Get Outside in Nature

Between Two Worlds: Stressed? Get Outside in Nature April 7, 2020

Am I stressed now with everything going on in the world right now? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But I know there are many people out there who are. My sister and I are two women who are at a higher risk than some are. We’re both over 70 years young. I’m pretty healthy; she isn’t as much, since she’s partially handicapped and has COPD.

I found the best way for me to adjust was to get outside in nature. Photo by the author.

My sister Shirley moved in with me from western New York state the end of September, 2018. I was definitely stressed when that happened. She’s been a widow since 2006, and I’d lived by myself since then too, after a divorce. It has worked out well though, but it took some time to adjust. I found the best way for me to adjust was to get outside in nature.

Most of you that have read my blog know that I hike. A lot. As much as I can. Over the years I found that anytime I was feeling stressed, it was critical for me to connect with nature. Mother Earth, Gaia, has a way of making troubled times better. But only if you connect with Her. Feel the earth under your feet. Smell the air. Hear the birds and animals. In the summer at times we feel the element of fire. If we don’t protect our skin, we get sunburned. And it can be very hot! After a dry spell the spring rains bring forth beautiful flowers. Connect with the Spirit all around us.

Every day I can when it’s not raining I walk 2 miles. Photo by the author.

In the past few weeks we have encountered something most of us have never experienced before in this incarnation. It seems that all we see or hear about is the novel coronavirus. So many lost lives. So many friends and relatives we may never see again. A majority of the states in this country are under stay at home orders, except for essential businesses. Pharmacies, grocery stores, hospitals, gas stations, and others are open for us, thankfully. Then the related fallout of so many people losing their jobs. Stressed out with all of this. Most of us will probably say ‘yes’.

Shirley and I have been self quarantined for over three weeks now. We live in an apartment complex, and aren’t going out except when we absolutely have to. For prescriptions and food only. Yes, a lot of parks and trails are open, but when I go there I’ve seen way too many people for my comfort level. And not all of us are doing proper social distancing. That’s what stresses me and older people like me and my sister out.
I saw some sidewalk chalk drawings that lifted my spirits. Photo by the author.

I’ve found my way around all of this is to get outside and walk a lot. Every day I can when it’s not raining I walk 2 miles. Every. Single. Day. Yes, the sidewalks are boring. But I’ve found I can maintain at least 6 to 8 feet distance from anyone. Even if I have to walk in the street. Is it the same as being in the wood? No, it sure isn’t. But if you look, you can find green spaces all around. Even in the city. And lately we’ve had some nice gentle rains to go with the sunshine. Crocuses and other flowers are starting to appear. Just yesterday I saw some sidewalk chalk drawings that lifted my spirits up. Feeling stressed? Get outside in nature. A nice walk noticing the positive elements we have all around us will lift up your spirits as well.

A nice walk noticing the positive elements we have all around us will lift up your spirits. Photo by the author.
About Brianne Raven Wolf
Brianne Raven Wolf has identified as a Pagan from a very young age. She is an active member of Circle Sanctuary in Wisconsin. She volunteers her time there helping at most Full Moon Rituals, as well as some workshops, Circle events, and Sanctuary work days. At Pagan Spirit Gathering (PSG) 2017, she became the first Pagan Transwoman to have the Senioring Rite of Passage. She follows a Hekatean Witchcraft Spiritual Path. To relax, she likes to walk, camp, and hike as much as possible in very rural areas. Brianne is also an avid reader, especially young adult novels. You can read more about the author here.

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