What You Need is Some Nature
Last updated: June 2017
Yes, nature. The great outdoors? God's creation? MOTHER NATURE. As I'm writing this, my part of Pennsylvania has received a nice coating of snow and while it is NATURAL to think of nature as singing birds on a sunny day, allowing nature into your life does not always mean that you have to find THE most idyllic pasture to meditate in. It can mean simply getting outside and breathing. For me, this is one of the most important parts of my sanity routine and pain management. When I move somewhere new (I’ve been a bit of a gypsy in my time), one of the first things I do is find some woods I can be alone in. Somewhere I can walk, hike, run, meditate, listen to music; somewhere I can commune with the original world. This is a world where it doesn’t matter that you have health problems, a crappy job, no job, crappy car, no car, crappy relationship, no relationship…you get the point. The outdoors is where I can find my Higher Power most easily. Just 15 minutes outside can do worlds of good for your state of mind. So, if you haven’t already, scope out your locale for some comfortable, interesting paths, woods, mountains, beaches…rivers (my favorite).
Seek an experience with nature...
Depending on where you live it may not seem like you have easy access to somewhere naturally…cool. It may be because you haven’t looked hard enough or it may be because you live in a part of a city or town where there really isn't any green right out your door. Make the effort, hop in the car, take the bus, ride your bike and get to somewhere peaceful, away from the pavement. I promise you it won’t take you long to find a place you can make your own. Unless you live in East Jabip…but I’ve heard it’s lovely up there. Perhaps ask yourself, what type of outdoors person you are. Do you prefer the beach to the mountains? Do you prefer to rock climb or sit by a river? Do you enjoy the many little critters and creatures of the outdoor or not so much? These questions can help you determine what type of natural experience you are looking for. I am a hiker and camper, but now depending on my IBS’s mood, I may be limited to sitting or walking. Let me tell you something…there is nothing like practicing breathing exercises or meditation by a river or ocean. Point being, you don’t need to be hanging from a rock wall five hundred feet off the ground. If that’s your poison…go for it.
...before plugging back in
Now that I’ve laid out the groundwork for a real Nature Boy or Girl experience, we have to make one thing clear; any nature is good nature. I made a comment earlier in the article about getting away from the pavement. If the pavement is what you can get to, be good with that and enjoy the sky, the sun, the stars and moon. Take notice of the birds above your head, the squirrels in the tree, the dogs on their walk and the atmosphere around you in all its terrestrial splendor. Breathe deeply and with purpose. Relish this time, because unfortunately, we will at some point, have to get back inside to our TVs, computer, phones, Ipads, video games, TwitterTweeter FacebookPeoplemeeter… Please consider adding some outdoor time to your self-care routine. It will make a WORLD of difference.
Which of the following symptoms of IBS do you experience most frequently?