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Sunshine: The best medicine for stress?

Posted by on September 19, 2011 – 11:44 am

What’s your escape when the house is messy, the dishes are calling your name and you have no idea what’s for dinner?

Life is chaotic. It’s messy. Sometimes, it can be loud.

I felt all those things this weekend. So I sought an escape.

I threw on my shoes, put baby in her stroller and stepped out the door.

My pulse calmed as I stepped outdoors. A sweetness filled the air in the late afternoon. It wasn’t quiet outside (yes, I AM the mom whose children started the water gun fights), but there was a different kind of noise, somewhat hushed by the trees and the vast space.

The noise was joyful. It was fun. It was children getting along and not fighting (what IS IT with the kids fighting when they’re inside, but playing together outside?).

The trees and grass were bright green, as Arizona’s extended summer has meant leaves still on trees. And while it wasn’t exactly cool (we’re still seeing high 90s in the Valley), the shade provided a bit of escape.

I threw a blanket under a tree and let my 1-year-old daughter toddle around. My son and I analyzed clouds: “It’s a boat. No, it’s a person. No, it’s a meat-eating fish.”

I spent hours Saturday and Sunday afternoon in the warm sun. I took a walk with baby. I watched the kids play and talked to a neighbor.

I sat with my own thoughts.

The kids spent even more time outdoors – five hours on Saturday and four on Sunday.

My son complained this morning, “I didn’t play electronics all weekend!”

Yes, I know. Isn’t it wonderful?

I recently read a study that the symptoms of ADHD decrease the more kids spend time in nature.

I don’t doubt this at all. I know my own mind slows when I spend time outdoors. The kids sleep better, as well.

I’m so excited cooler weather is just around the corner. I can already feel the weight lifting as I anticipate more time under the sun.

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  • PAT says:


  • JackieH says:

    What can really reduce stress depends on the environment you in, the people your with, and emotions of those people around you. I feel stress free when I am welcomed outside by the beauty of nature, the laughter and smiles of friends and familiar faces around me, it gives a calmness and warmth to my heart that helps me forget of my worries. Well, course it also depends on your point of view, if you choose to look at the world in a more positive way it will be less stressful.