Last week I traveled to Monument Valley, Utah with my husband. It’s a place my husband wanted to visit after seeing years of John Wayne movies. For me, it meant connecting with nature, with the outdoors. Well over 100 studies have shown the benefits of being outside in nature. Mood improves, productivity increases, and stress is reduced. This is a healing way to de-stress and lower cortisol—that stress hormone that can ruin your health when its levels are high for too long.
Monument Valley, home to the Navajo Nation, is far off the beaten path. We stayed in a small cabin at the edge of a cliff with an amazing view. Here is what I woke up to my first morning.
It is a place of beautiful colors—the coral sky at sunrise, the red earth monuments, the blue cloud-filled sky and the black star filled night.
The Navajo people, as part of their daily routines, awaken early each morning to see the sun come up. They watch the minute by minute changes in the sky as day breaks. It is an integral part of their culture to connect with nature.
One of the best things about our cabin was the lack of electronics. Without internet, radio, television or newspapers, I had a four day news fast. My mind and body were able to fully relax without the constant stream of doom and gloom news that we subject ourselves to on a daily or even hourly basis.
But you don’t have to leave town to de-stress in nature.
A trip to the beach, a walk through a park, or a hike into the hills around Los Angeles can feel like a mini vacation.
You can also give yourself a break from the news for a few days by listening to music instead of the news or watching a romantic comedy instead of the evening television news.
It’s especially important as we enter the holiday season.
Give yourself the gift of nature and relaxation.