Nature is a curative solution to pandemic mental health stress

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Going out is good for us, especially during a pandemic.

The big picture: nature advantages for mental health and well-being are part of the human experience and have been studied for decades. But the COVID-19 pandemic is a real-time experiment to study exactly how green spaces can help us in difficult times.

  • The pandemic has pushed many people to screens for work and socializing. But this increased screen time also made people Break away To nature, says MaryCarol Hunter, who studies nature effect on mental wellness at the University of Michigan.

Details: Isolation and loneliness of quarantine and social distancing, fear of illness, grief over loss and uncertainty about the future are all risk factors for anxiety, major depression. and other mental disorders.

  • Of Mexico To Malaysia To Finland, researchers assess the impact of exposure to nature on mental health during the pandemic and find more evidence that spending time in nature – exercising, listening to birds and meditating – may help reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.
  • Same look at the plants indoors or on a balcony seems to help.

Yes, but: There is unequal access to nature.

  • Black and Latino communities have “less access to urban nature than white communities ”, and“ 74% of communities of color live in areas deprived of nature ”, Ambika Chawla wrote earlier this year in Ensia, an environmental magazine.

The impact: Nonprofits like Groundwork Denver aim to improve access to green spaces in urban areas.

  • Nature Sacred and other groups help communities create public spaces and connect people to nature with yoga, mindfulness programs, and other activities.


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