There is a thing I have come to recognize often in impoverished communities: Oftentimes, where there is a lack of resources in urban communities, there seems to be a lack of greenery although outdoors in these communities. There is something to be said about the correlation between mood and lack of exposure to nature. A 2017 article shows a study done in an impoverished community in Siberia where control groups were exposed to horticulture activities as compared to the group who performed activities but not in nature (Vujcic, M., Tomicevski, D., Vukovic, O., & Toskovic, O., 2017). The results showed participants in the control group found recuperative effects from various horticulture activities. Also, it showed an impact on depression and stress-related mental health disorders. 

Many factors can contribute to a person’s mental health state. Having coping strategies can make all the difference in how one moves through a moment, and day, a lifetime!! The encouragement is that there is a power we have in grabbing the steering wheel to bringing ourselves to a better mental space. Every journey will be different as people have experienced different levels and magnitudes of events in their life. Experiencing different mechanisms to help with coping is something we all must explore for ourselves and determine if we notice an impact within the self. It’s a journey everyone must take to get to know self and knowing self includes knowing what works for you. So, take a journey in nature pay attention to your body and mind. Some ideas are:

  • -Plant flowers in your backyard 
  • -Create your indoor space with plants
  • -Take a nature hike
  • -Exercise outdoors 
  • -Go to the beach

Be creative. Remember, your journey does not have to look at anyone else’s; It’s about what speaks to you internally.  

Vujcic, M, Tomicevic-Dubljevic, J., Grbic, M., Lecic-Tosevski, D., Vukovic, O., & Toskovic, O. (2017). Nature based solution for improving mental health and well-being in urban areas. Environmental Research, 158, 385-392.