Nature & Mental Health

By Calin, 20, Bloomington, Indiana 

I have learned the importance of taking time to yourself, especially when life gets busy. Thankfully, I have been able to use nature as an outlet. Some of you may be thinking that you don’t have time to go out in nature. This is simply not true. Going out in nature could be something as simple as taking your dog for a walk, walking to class, or even to work. It is important to not forget the importance of taking care of ourselves. I find peace in the tranquility that nature provides. The fresh air calms me when I am feeling overwhelmed.

One of my favorite spots in Bloomington, IN is Lake Griffy. The Nature Preserve is only about seven minutes away from my house at school. I like to go with my friends to see the sunset and hike around. There are several beginner level trails that reach to an overlook of the body of water.

Life can move very fast sometimes. However, it is vital that we recollect ourselves as it is common that we become physically and mentally drained. It can often be hard to remove yourself from an overwhelming situation. Something that I like to do after being around a lot of people for an extended period is regroup on my own. I do so by journaling my thoughts as well as going for walks.

Often, this looks like a long walk around campus with my headphones in, just listening to music. Taking in the nature around me helps me to put everything that is going on in my life into perspective. I find it important to realize how small we are in this world and that there are so many other factors that are happening that play a larger role in the universe.

 Something that I used to and still sometimes struggle with is worrying about what other people think of me. As I have gotten older and use social media, I have noticed that everyone tries to portray their lives as perfect. In reality, no one lives a perfect life, we all have flaws and bad moments. However, this is what makes each one of us unique in our own way.

We can’t control what happens around us, but we can control how we respond to those actions. For me, this is recognizing what is best for me, and many times that involves regrouping and spending time outdoors.

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