WWSI: Nature provides happiness, serenity

To soothe the soul, we should go outside and enjoy the gifts of nature. Growing up in a suburban area, we have easy access to so much nature, like the Green Lane Reservoir and Peace Valley Park.


Earth Day was started 53 years ago in order to increase awareness and support for environmental protection.
This Earth Day, we should take the opportunity to appreciate all the gifts that nature has to offer us, from trail walks to vibrant plants to beautiful, spirit-soothing views.
It only takes a look around to see the gifts of nature, especially as beautiful spring weather comes to Pennsylvania.
It is important to take the time to appreciate this and rejuvenate our souls.
This can be done by something as simple as a walk around the block.
Whether you’re endlessly scrolling through TikTok or drowning in schoolwork, getting some fresh air is great for the soul.
You don’t have to go far. A majority of the Souderton area has sidewalks or nearby parks.
If a bigger break from stress is needed, Green Lane Reservoir is about a 20-minute drive, offering trails, picnic areas and water areas.
There are beautiful sunset views as well as diverse trails.
Some are paved and some are off the beaten path, so there’s an opportunity for all comfort levels.
If you like a more structured experience, local places like Longwood Gardens can be a great way to take time to appreciate flowers and the beauty of nature.
It is curated and relaxed.
The guarantee of a good experience does not mean it is any less authentic.
Appreciating nature is simple.
Go and marvel at the fruits of the Earth.
Going out in nature has many overlooked physical benefits, as well.
Just being outside can relax our bodies and minds by reducing the level of the stress hormone cortisol, muscle tension and heart rates.
The sun has been proven to have numerous benefits to bodily functions that would improve the lives of students.
Plus, it feels good on our skin.
Get outside! Exposure to the sun can reduce symptoms of depression by stimulating the production of Vitamin D within the body.
Research indicates that Vitamin D has a vital role in mood regulation and reducing symptoms of depression.
As well as fighting symptoms of depression, sun exposure can improve one’s circadian rhythm resulting in better sleep patterns which are a necessity for high school students.
Nature can act as a much-needed place for mental and emotional refuge from the constantly stimulating world of technology.
Almost nothing is as calming as a serene walk through a wooded area, hearing birds chirping and leaves blowing with each step, knowing that the worries of the outside world are far, far away.
Between school and common pastimes for teenagers, the average high school student is spending 7.5 hours behind a screen every single day, according to the Center for Diease Control.
Studies have shown that only 30-45 minutes a day spent in nature yields largely beneficial physical results.
Yet another benefit of immersing oneself in nature is better eyesight.
Studies have shown that kids who spend more time outside and less time on screens are less likely to develop nearsightedness.
When outside, we are forced to be active and walk around to enjoy our surroundings.
Walking around is great for cardiovascular health as well as burning a few extra calories.
Being able to immerse ourselves in the natural beauty of our surroundings allows us to appreciate what we have and cherish the importance of a clean, healthy and gorgeous Earth.
In the individualist society that we live in, it is important to ground ourselves every once in a while and realize that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.
We should recognize that there is meaning in nature and the simple things in life that do not cause us intense anxiety and stress.
As we go through high school and eventually, out into the world, we must realize that we will soon have the impact to make a change.
Right now, our planet is being tarnished by copious amounts of harmful pollutants and litter that threaten many of our natural habitats.
If we continue to destroy our environment at this rate, future generations will not have access to enjoyable and refreshing retreats to nature that we have readily available to us now.
Our Earth provides us with so many gifts.
Taking the time to appreciate them is essential as we work to protect the earth.
Fresh air is essential to our well-being and we cannot afford to continue to damage it.
It is important that we recognize there is time for change and there is time for preservation to keep our planet healthy.
While our current situation may seem bleak, we should remember this Earth Day that there are things we can do on a local scale to preserve nature.
We can volunteer our time at local cleanup efforts, we can shop and consume sustainably and we can remember to reuse and recycle whenever we can.