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[Montrose CO | July 2020 | By Amiessa Dawn Jutten, MSW, LCSW]
The light breeze moving through the quaking aspens, the smell of fresh mountain air after a gentle rain, the musical sounds of a creek flowing nearby… Spending time in nature rejuvenates the spirit.
With stress and anxiety running wild in today’s world, it is beneficial to make time for the outdoors. Did you know that spending just two hours in nature each week is shown to increase wellbeing? Regular outings can have positive effects on our mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Immersing ourselves in nature is easier than we may think. Many of us imagine this as a trip into our beautiful San Juan Mountains, a drive on the Grand Mesa, or a hike into the Uncompahgre wilderness. We like to get away into the depths of our majestic public lands. These fantastic nature escapes feed our humanity and strengthen our connections. Time in the wilderness invokes our curiosity, brings clarity to our inner selves, and renews our sense of calm.
So, what do we do when time is limited, when that day trip into the mountains just isn’t in the cards? Consider taking in the views from the nearby Black Canyon National Park or sitting by the water’s edge at Riverbottom Park in Montrose or at Ridgway State Park. Local city parks, open spaces, and recreation paths also call out to us. Just a few minutes from home, we can enjoy mindful time sitting by the river, walking on the trails, or resting on a blanket under a tree.
These days, many of us may not be able to leave home, whether due to health, pandemic distancing, or other limitations. So how can we get a bit of nature? Backyards are perfect for relaxing, digging in the cool garden soil, walking barefoot on the grass, and taking in a bit of fresh air. No yard? No worries. Sit by the window and notice the warm sunshine, the birds chirping as they fly about, and the soft summer breeze.