Pregnancy, Motherhood and Getting Outside
Using the outdoors to improve your and your child’s well being
This theme of “get outside,” has been knocking at my proverbial door a lot lately. Maybe it’s because fall is my favorite time of year and fall in New England is nothing short of spectacular.
I LOVE the colors of the leaves as they change, the leaves falling on the ground and the smell, OH the smell of fall. There is just something magical about the way it smells.
Mental health is another topic that has been top of mind lately and specifically maternal mental health. I fully believe that getting outside in nature; the sun, bare feet on the grass, etc… is soooo good for each of us as humans. In my motherhood journey it certainly provides a reprieve from some of the modern world pressures and I can see that benefit in my children too. Often I have to force them outside, I hear things like: “I don’t want to go for a hike,” “my feet hurt,” “I’m tired,” but once outside and walking they are free and the complaints stop.
There are science based factual benefits about getting outside that many of us may already know:
- Improved mood
- Reduced anxiety
- Stress reduction
- Enhanced immune system function
- Increased self esteem
- And many others not listed here
(*See Footnote for information on benefits listed above)
But for me, there are other benefits that aren’t as “science based” or may be unique to me, such as:
- Feeling more connected and less lonely in this big world
- More appreciative of the little things, such as; the color of the leaves, the smell of the forest, the tiny pinecones that are so cute,...
- My mind gets creative. I think of crafty projects I want to do with the kids, or a trip I want to take.
- I feel peaceful and content
I believe the benefits of incorporating more nature into our lives are tremendous for our whole well being. And it doesn’t have to be a big adventure or a reason to exercise, just a walk in the woods or sitting by a tree can be helpful as we navigate pregnancy, motherhood and all the facets of our lives.
- Take good care, Michelle
*Robbins, Jim. “Ecopsychology: How Immersion in Nature Benefits Your Health” Yale Environment 360 January 9, 2020 <https://e360.yale.edu/features/ecopsychology-how-immersion-in-nature-benefits-your-health>.
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