"I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work." -Frank Lloyd Wright
The benefits of outside time on our mindsets and overall health are well documented for children and adults alike. During the summer and into early fall, most of us are able to find time to play, relax, and rejuvenate in the great outdoors without much effort. Towards the end of October, the days become shorter, the nights more chilly, and school and sports are in full swing. This translates to much less outdoor time for the purpose of rejuvenation, refreshing a tired brain, however, it is also the time to develop habits to carry us through the cold, winter months feeling energized and alert to complete all of the tasks thrown our way.
Yes, students’ schedules are busy and many are active with multiple practices and games for a variety of sports, but students need time in nature to ward off stress and improve their mental health. If they have a chance to do something for a day or overnight, great, but a 15 minute walk on a trail will do the trick when time is limited. Being out in nature- walking a rail trail, visiting a wildlife sanctuary, snowshoeing, hiking a mountain or maybe a hill, skiing, skating, building a snow fort or
snowman, sledding, etc. You get the picture. Unstructured time with friends and family in the fresh air to appreciate the beauty around us and have fun has been found to reduce stress and fatigue and make kids think. Yes, nature creates a unique sense of wonder for kids. We want to encourage curiosity and help students rid themselves of anxiety. Getting outside will do this and much more.
We have had a gorgeous week of weather, so take advantage and encourage your children to find a few minutes to get out and do something that will rejuvenate and make them better students in the long run. Begin to develop habits that will extend well into the winter months. It may be the best winter they have both in and out of school!