Laurie Swanson Blog

Nature is a Job Requirement

It felt like my whole body was contracting in on itself.

What might surprise you is what brought this on.

I had not taken ill.

I was not being attacked by a swarm of bees.

I had simply made the decision to walk indoors.

Walking Indoors is Bad???

I take a walk most mornings. I always tell myself if it is below freezing, raining or if the path might be dangerous due to ice or snow I take my walk to the indoor track at my community center.

I don’t mind the indoor track. It is surrounded by windows. It is never very crowded and it has wi-fi so I can listen to my favorite podcast without using data! What's not to like?

But on this particular morning, it was 20 degrees out. Below freezing. It was not snowing or rainy but still windy and cold.

It was at that moment when I made the decision to walk indoors, that my body reacted and let me know it WAS NOT HAPPY!

Only Your Body Knows

I knew I had to make a different choice.

I have to say even I was surprised by this strong reaction.

I am a firm believer that your body knows more than your brain most, if not all, of the time.

Your body alerts you to trouble both inside and out.

It is a giant receiver of information.

And yet, I don’t pay attention to it as often as I should.

But this time I had no choice.

I went back inside, put on my boots, got my scarf, gloves, and hat and off I went to the lake to walk the path outside.

And my body reacted again. This time it was like a giant expansion of joy. My chest was “smiling" if that makes any sense to you.

The fact is that your body craves nature. Your good health depends on it.

I have decided that along with a good salary, benefits, and work that is satisfying, people should make sure that nature is part of their job requirement.

Working Nature into your Work

Many of us work in offices or spend a good deal of time indoors. Here are some tips and ideas on how to get more nature into your every day and reasons why you should.

Soak up the sun: Make it a point to stand outside and soak in the sun. According to the National Institute of Health: 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine three times weekly is enough to produce the body's requirement of vitamin D. The sun needs to shine on the skin of your face, arms, back, or legs (without sunscreen). 

Join my Barefoot revolution: Walking barefoot on natural surfaces, also known as “earthing”, has many proven benefits. According to Isaac Eliaz, M.D., L.Ac., M.S., when you walk on grass, sand or soil you can increase antioxidants, reduce inflammation, and improve sleep. Studies also show that earthing moderates heart rate variability, improves glucose regulation, reduces stress and boosts immunity. Need I say more!

Put a plant on your desk:  I know I have said this before but it bears repeating. Not only does having a plant on your desk create a space that feels homier but it also improves air quality, reduces stress and the simple act of watering your plant helps you separate from work for a few minutes a day and increases your focus and productivity.

Eat lunch outside: Just 5 minutes in the out-of-doors is shown to reduce anger and increase happiness.

Let thunder be a reminder: For a less scientific use of nature to improve your workday, let the thunder outside your office be a reminder that, just like the storm that is raging outside, your personal storms too shall pass. 

If you need help finding a job that makes you chest "smile", I am here to help!  Give me a call at 630/260-7821 or shoot me an email at  Mention this blog and I will give you a free 30-minute session.

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