By Giulia Boccola
By Giulia Boccola
This mandatory lockdown, which has seen millions of people completely forced to stay home, has slowed down our job opportunities, our mobility and our metabolism, giving rise to feelings of frustration, worry and unease.
And precisely in these months of indoor life, together with moments of deprivation due to an imposed constriction, the closest nature has never been so important and fundamental. Despite this difficult global moment, its beauty and tranquility have offered us great joy and hope.
Many studies have shown that an active lifestyle and experiencing green spaces accelerates healing times, reduces stress, improves physical health and brings cognitive and psychological benefits to individuals. Another particularly relevant aspect nowadays, apart from physical exercise, is getting a correct exposure to sunlight and forests natural elements which are able to strengthen our immune system. Unfortunately, the crisis has already made it clear that many city neighborhoods do not have enough green space nearby. Just think about that in the United States, 100 million Americans do not live within a 10 minutes walk park. Being outdoor is an affirmation of life and health. Nature has an intrinsic special effect on each of us, it makes us happier, more energetic, more creative and by spending more time outdoor we increase our sense of belonging to the world and experience a more solid bond with the earth.
Shane O’Mara, neuroscientist and author of “In Praise of Walking”, said: “Let the wind blow on your face; let the light of day and the street lamps of the night dance on your eyes; feel the rain on your face; feel the earth under your feet; feel the sounds; speak, even if only with yourself; relax to the rhythm of walking and let your mind wander, deliberate, contemplate; travel to your past, dig into your possible futures or don’t think about nothing at all.” Being surrounded by non-human living beings is a reminder of nature cycles, of the resilience of life, of the urge to live.
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