Most people are extremely nature deprived. This is because they spend most of their days in front of a computer, cellphone, or television, and they leave little to no time to be out in nature. Nature deficit disorder is not yet a clinically diagnosed disease, but it has real negative effects on a person’s health.
For one, continuous exposure to screens can encourage sedentary lifestyles, which can lead to obesity, diabetes, and chronic health conditions. People who spend extensive hours in front of devices are also more prone to eye strain, as well as back and muscle pain.
Being deprived of an essential time in the natural world can create antisocial behaviors, or cause anxiety and depression. The people who work remotely, live alone, or prefer to keep to themselves are more likely to experience the effects of nature deprivation because they only have their screens as their company.
That’s why it’s important to detox from the internet at least once in a while. Instead of spending your weekends lying in bed and binge-watching your shows, you should take that opportunity to be out in nature. To get you started, here are four recreational activities that you can do:
Horses are naturally emotional creatures who can understand human reactions and feelings. This makes them great companions when you want to get away from the chaos that is your everyday life. Spending your weekend in the presence of horses can immediately boost your mood and clear your head.
Besides the mental health benefits of horseback riding, there are also plenty of physical and social benefits that you can get. For instance, you engage your core muscles, build strength, and improve your coordination just by keeping your feet on the horse roping spur and staying seated on the saddle.
On the other hand, the social benefits that you can get from horseback riding include building trust with the animals and growing your social circle. This is because you get to interact with real people face-to-face instead of through screens, such as your instructor, the staff in the barn, and the other riders.
Many people relieve their stress by partaking in physically strenuous activities such as hiking because it helps them clear their heads. If you consider yourself as belonging to that category of people, then spending your weekend on a hiking trip can be the perfect end to your exhausting week.
There’s something about being in the wilderness, surrounded by vast expanses of trees, shrubs, and wildlife that makes hiking a thrilling experience. You can also breathe in the fresh air while you’re focusing all your energy on making sure that you don’t lose track of the trail.
Being in nature and away from the glaring lights of your computer screen has many health benefits. You can build muscle strength because you’re engaging your entire body as you hike. This can also improve your overall mood because hiking is proven to help combat the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Bodies of water have naturally calming effects on people, particularly because the slow ebb and flow of the water mimics the motion of breathing in and out. If you find this imagery enticing, then spending your weekend on a fishing trip might just be what you need to relieve your stress.
The mere thought of being on a boat in the middle of a lake, with your rod cast out into the unknown should be enough to bring peace to your mind. Fishing may not be as exhilarating as other outdoor activities, but it has its own charm.
If you enjoy being alone with your thoughts and away from the chaotic city, then you will enjoy fishing. This activity can improve your concentration and patience because you will need both in the process of catching fish. Impatience will get you nowhere in this field because you have to be in this for the long haul.
Sleeping under the stars is always an enticing activity, especially if you haven’t done it in so long, or at all. If this is how you want to spend your weekend, then going to a campsite where you can set up your tent and become one with nature will be perfect.
You can build a fire, roast marshmallows, and create s’mores while you’re enjoying your evening in the great outdoors. Camping has plenty of benefits not only for your physical health but also for your mental and emotional well-being.
For starters, you might need to trek to get to your campsite and find wood to make a fire, which is already considered as exercise. Being in the wilderness can also encourage you to wander around and explore your new surroundings.
Camping will also test your problem-solving skills, improve your confidence, help you sleep better, and boost your mood. Just being in the presence of direct sunlight, fresh air, and nature will go a long way to relieving your stress from your everyday life.
So if you have the option to rest at home surrounded by technology or recuperate in nature, always choose the latter one. You have all the time in the world to face your gadgets and be consumed by the internet, but having the ability to be one with nature is rare. Choose wisely.