Earth Day this year is on Friday, April 22nd. Many people think about planting trees or even recycling more on this day. But what about thinking of Earth Day as the first day to start using this big blue planet to help you recharge and start the practice of unplugging for health? The daily grind can affect our bodies, mood, and behavior. Distancing ourselves from the things in life that stress us out should be something we add to our schedule instead of just waiting for a time when we can get away.

It’s been documented that spending time in nature helps us in many ways. It calms us and oftentimes our stress melts away after a walk in the woods or a hike in the mountains. Unplugging from all the stuff in our daily lives is an important part of taking care of ourselves. Not only can it help your mental state, but your physical well-being, too.

Some of the symptoms associated with stress include:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Irritability or anger
  • Sadness or depression
  • Overeating or undereating

Stress elevates your blood pressure, heart rate, and muscle tension, and suppresses your immune system. It affects your nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. Its effect on your life can be insidious and you can eventually become so used to feeling stressed that it feels normal.

Unplugging from daily stressors reduces blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. Spending time outdoors often distracts us from our pain and discomfort, and elevates our mood. It feels good not to feel as though you have to check your phone every other minute or answer every email as it comes in. If you spend time outside enjoying the beauty of nature and unplugging for health, every day can feel like Earth Day and make you feel a little better.