While camping offers a great time with friends, there are many more benefits to packing up and getting away especially in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic. Our life has been altered drastically and we are under an increasing amount of stress because of it. But there is a way to de-stress that won’t put a huge dent in your bank account. Reconnect with nature by getting outdoors and camp. We as a society have become so dependent on technology. We often lose sight of one of the best ways to raise our spirits and improve our health. Exposure to nature can reduce stress, speed recovery, reduce blood pressure and lower risk of cancer. Experiencing nature can also improve cognitive abilities. And what better way is there to experience nature and the great outdoors than camping?
Shinrin-yoku or “Forest Bathing” has become a popular form of preventive health care in Japan. Continuing benefits of walking in the woods are coming to light. Plants and trees emit compounds called phytoncides which when inhaled, benefit us in much the same way as aroma-therapies.
A book by Richard Louv titled “Last Child in the Woods” speaks of the change revealed with MRIs in the brains of children who spend inordinate amounts of time indoors with video games, TVs, computers and tablets. He has coined the phrase “nature deficit disorder”. More and more studies show that exposure to nature can reduce symptoms of ADHD. It also reduces “morbid ruminations” which is focusing on the negative aspects of our lives. Focusing on the negative leads to depression and increased anxiety.
The recent pandemic has increased fear and stress among people of all ages. We do not know how long this increased anxiety will last. There are steps that can be taken to help cope with the “new normal” we are having to live with. Camping offers both the health benefits and the safety and security of inherent social distancing. The next time you are feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders, go camping; take a walk in the woods. Breathe deep and feel nature’s relaxing effect. You’ll feel lighter for it.
The following you tube video is a humorous look at the benefits of nature: