7 Benefits of Connecting with Nature during the COVID-19 Crisis
- Cally Logan Author
- 2020 3 Apr
Developments in the on-going fight against the coronavirus, COVID-19, the Government has requested that Americans quarantine and adhere to social distancing to help prevent the spread. The virus has spread rapidly through parts of the world, and in precautionary efforts to save lives and to protect our community, social distancing proves to be one of the most effective options in flattening the curve or reducing the number of cases. Social distancing requires a distance of six feet apart from others, but during this time Americans are encouraged to still take walks, get outside, and to enjoy nature within the correct conditions of distancing from one another. Connecting with nature during this time can not only lift your spirits but provide a different perspective of connecting with our Creator as well.
From the very beginning, God originated nature to be reveled in by man. God chose to place Adam, the first man, in the Garden of Eden for his dwelling. Genesis 2:8 shares, “And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, where He placed the man He had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God gave growth to every tree that is pleasing to the eye and good for food.” Not only would this environment provide food but an aesthetically pleasing view for mankind. The intention of God from the very beginning was to bless mankind with nature. Many benefits come from spending time in nature as well.
Here are 7 Benefits of Getting Out and Enjoying Nature during the COVID-19 Quarantine
Benefit 1: Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for your immune system and bone health. It has been proven that spending ten to fifteen minutes in the sun can drastically assist your body’s overall health in disease prevention and strengthening of bones. Olympic teams have considered Vitamin D a “secret weapon” to ensure their teams stay well during the games, and the easiest and most pure way to get Vitamin D is to spend a few minutes outside. Especially in times when building a strong immune system is vital, building up Vitamin D is a great defense to strengthen.
Benefit 2: Mental Health
During times of quarantining, mental health can be at risk. The President expressed in a press conference recently his concerns for the mental health of citizens from feeling isolated from the outside world. Nature can provide a different environment that can prove beneficial for one’s mental health. It is also proven to invoke serotonin to increase in production. Focusing on captivating woodland creatures, the complexities of design of different flora and fauna, or capturing the tender songs of birds help to shift focus from calamities of the world and give that attention to something far more beautiful.
Benefit 3: Good Exercise
Exploring nature often requires good amounts of walking, strolling, climbing, or biking, all of which are excellent forms of exercise. Exercise assists in blood flow for good heart health and strengthening of muscles. It burns calories and boosts endorphins. Remaining stationery during this quarantine will leave the body feeling fatigued and out of shape, whereas good exercise can boost not only your health but your overall mood.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/jacoblund
Benefit 4: Fresh Air
Fresh air is good for the lungs. Many cities and densely populated areas have polluted air, but fresh air is helpful for health. Satellite pictures from China showed that pollution began to dissipate due to the quarantine if clouds of pollution can be seen from space imagine what it is doing to a human body! Nature provides fresh and crisp air. Improved air quality is also shown to help clear the senses and provide a clearer headspace.
Benefit 5: Being Still, Feeling Small
Offices, commutes, and work are often moving so vigorously it can become overwhelming. Natural surroundings provide for a slower pace, one for reflection. Being still before the Lord grants a space for healing and revealing before Him. Psalm 46:10 reminds us, “He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Massive trees and broad skies may lead us to feel quite small, but what a relief it is to remember the troubles of the world do not timber upon us. We are small, and He is bigger than even massive redwood trees or frontier skies. Resting before Him in the stillness of a placid landscape, remembering "how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” (Luke 12:27). What a gift to come as we are before the God of the universe knowing He hears us, ready to grant us peace like a river.
Benefit 6: Spiritual Benefits
Jesus often slipped away into the wilderness to be alone. At times, He would bring a few of His disciples, but at each time it was to center and connect with His Father. In the course of His ministry, Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and then went into the wilderness before He called upon the Disciples as told in Mark 1. God brought Paul into the wilderness for a time as well before he was sent to proclaim the Good News. This is no coincidence. Connecting with the Father through the Holy Spirit came in these wilderness times, refining and preparing for what would come ahead. Perhaps you will find a Wilderness connection with His Spirit during this time, one that prepares you for the plans He has for you to come.
Benefit 7: Learning from Nature
George Washington Carver is famously known for inventing over three-hundred ways to use a peanut, including peanut butter. Mark Batterson shared in his book, 40 Days of Prayer how Carver often reflected upon Job 12:7, “But ask the animals, and they will instruct you; ask the birds of the air, and they will tell you. Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? The life of every living thing is in His hand, as well as the breath of all mankind.” The birds can teach us of His protection and provision (Psalm 91:4). The trees of how small seeds when nourished correctly can grow to reach great heights. Perhaps the soothing songbirds will remind you to tune into His voice over the harsh squawking crows that twinge doubts. There is so much to learn in His original design of a Garden to teach.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Jjneff
A Prayer to Enjoy Nature
We thank You for the glistening reminders of Your artistry in nature. We acquiesce that so often we forget some of the most breathtaking examples of Your handiwork reside daily in the woodland landscape. Help us to unite today in such creation, breathing in the fragrance of the trees and wildflowers, reflecting in the subtle vibrant colors, and sensing the warmth of Your Sun shining upon our faces. May we soak in and embrace the habitat You designed specifically for us. We align our hearts to Your Spirit as we step out of distractions of the modern world to connect with Your handiwork.
In Jesus name, Amen
Despite the social world as we know it changing daily, nature continues to endure. The birds still sing, the rivers still flow, and the sun still rises. These are gentle and daily reminders that God is in control. The Bible reminds us that not a bird can fall from the sky without God knowing about it, and what a peace that brings that He is still sovereign, even over plagues of the world. Connect with nature this week, and perhaps in the course of it you will hear the praises the trees give as the gentle winds sway them, and the songs the birds lift to the skies for Him, and you too will sing with them worshipping our Creator.
- Holy Bible, NIV
- thetrek.co, Scientifically Supported Reasons to Get Outside
- livelovefruit.com, Health Benefits of Spending Time in Nature
- forbes.com, Coronavirus: NASA Reveals How China’s Lockdown Drastically Reduced Pollution
- 40 Days of Prayer, Mark Batterson
Top photo credit: ©GettyImages/YakobchukOlena
Cally Logan is a writer and teacher from Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Regent University. Currently, she is a writer for Dear Sparrows Ministry site, and the Podcast, "Dear Sparrows." In her free time, she enjoys leading a high school girls’ small group, cooking, and spending time in tree houses. Her latest books, Dear Young Sparrow and Unveiled are available everywhere or at https://dearsparrows.com/.