Nikki Ostrower (Nutritionist)
Expert Nutritionist Shares Simple Tips for Healing With Nature
Living in a big city, it’s easy to get sidetracked and consumed by this concrete jungle. But for my own self care (and sanity) I do my best to prioritize time in nature to reset my nervous system and align my circadian rhythm with the earth.
To “go against nature” in our daily lives is counter-intuitive. I.e. Sleeping by day and staying up late at night throws off our sleep cycle and body clock, which can wreak havoc on our entire system. So getting up with the sun and sleeping soon after sunset is ideal to feel your best.
But we also go against nature when we don’t provide ourselves breaks throughout our busy days, leading to high stress and burnout. Or when we spend way too much time in front of our computers, phones, and television screens (which nature never intended). That stimulatory blue light later in the evening messes with our body clock that is supposed to be producing melatonin and getting ready for sleep.
Living in alignment with nature has been studied for centuries, including ancient practices like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. There is so much to be learned from these traditions and I highly recommend reading about them. But for today, I wanted to share simple ways I create mini habits of aligning with nature so that you can start enjoying it immediately.
One of the easiest ways I use nature every single day is by simply getting outside first thing in the morning and getting sunlight on my skin. It’s vital to not shut ourselves up inside all day with yucky lighting. Like a plant, you need sun to thrive!
Another simple way to use nature’s healing capabilities is to practice “grounding”. This is accomplished by taking off your socks and shoes and walking through grass, on sand, or other nature-made surfaces. There are energizing properties received when we walk across the earth instead of man-made concrete!
If it’s winter, walking through the park on a cold or snowy day is very healing. The air is being cleaned up by the trees surrounding you, giving you fresh oxygen. It’s quiet compared to busy streets, soothes the mind and autonomic nervous system, and provides the perfect opportunity to gain clarity, problem solve, or get creatively inspired!
Laying out on the grassy lawn of a park and having a picnic any time I can is also a much loved experience with my husband and daughter.
I’ve also been taking full advantage of going to the beach as much as possible this summer. We don’t have that luxury during the school year, but we schedule time throughout the year to make trips to Long Island or yearly trips to the West Coast. Seeing the ocean, walking on the sand, taking a dip in the water, and breathing that delicious air is heavenly! Cold therapy with a dip in the ocean is, to me, even more healing than a man-made ice bath or cryo machine.
Spending time in nature doesn’t have to be difficult, nor something you only do when you leave for a vacation. Make nature a priority in your day-to-day life with these simple tips and you will see the incredible healing benefits for yourself, mind, body, and soul!