Honor the Earth and Yourself

Honor the Earth and Yourself

This Earth Day, you might be looking for ways to honor the planet. We’ve put together a short list of Earth Day activities that can also be good for your mental health. Read on for some ideas.

  1. Spend time outside. Studies have shown that getting outdoors is good for your mental health. Taking a walk in the woods, sitting on the beach, or sitting in a park counts. Research suggests that actually being outside is ideal, but if you can’t do that, even looking at pictures of nature can help. Unplugging from the busy-ness of day-to-day life can be challenging, but the fresh air and freedom from distractions is good for you.
  2. Take public transportation. Carpooling or taking the bus or train is obviously better for the planet because of the reduced carbon emissions from these modes of travel. Having increased contact with your community can also have benefits, such as potentially building more social relationships or working towards overcoming social anxiety. Additionally, the walking that typically accompanies taking public transit is good exercise. Not having the frustration of sitting in traffic or road rage might help too, but we can’t promise that you won’t be annoyed by a crowded or late bus or train 😉
  3. Declutter your house. Many people find that getting rid of clutter, clothes, or other things they don’t use increases their sense of peace when at home. Research supports this idea; one study found that people living in homes that they felt were cluttered experienced higher levels of stress hormones. Items that can be reused won’t end up in landfills, which is good for the planet. Look into donating to local charity organizations or your local freecycle group.
  4. Participate in an Earth day service project. Look for local Earth Day events. These could be anything from cleaning up a park, stream, or beach, to planting trees, to canvassing for an environmental group. Many of these events will have the added mental health benefits of getting you outside, getting exercise, meeting new people, and pursuing something which you value.

We hope that you make time today or this week to enjoy the outdoors, appreciate our planet, connect with your community, and also find some peace and solitude.