PLENTY magazine Autumn Harvest Season 2022 | Page 43

out in nature

Healing and Renewal in the Agricultural Reserve

By Jane O . Smith

Nature boosts my well-being . It helps to inspire and to restore my resilience , sense of purpose , creativity , spiritual growth , physical health , and contentment — some of the key elements on a “ wellness wheel ” according to the American College of Lifestyle Medicine .

Wellness is a way of life , a process of developing awareness that health and happiness are possible in each moment , here and now . John W . Travis , M . D ., describes it as “… the integration of body , mind , and spirit . The loving acceptance of yourself .”
When I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer , nature was my medicine . Today , nature is my vitamin , and the Ag Reserve serves as my go-to place for beauty , peace , and comfort . As a Mayo Clinic trained wellness coach , I am mindful of the healing potential it provides for me and countless others . The Ag Reserve brings out the best in me , in many ways . n Nutrition and Diet . Scientific evidence supports a predominantly plant-based diet as an important strategy to prevent and manage chronic disease . I eat a variety of minimally processed vegetables , fruits , whole grains , legumes , nuts , and seeds .
Inside the Ag Reserve : In the summer and fall , I visit the bountiful farmers markets that are bursting with fresh-picked and delicious fruits , vegetables , honeys and more .
n Physical Activity and Play . It is important to engage in both general physical activity and purposeful weekly exercise as part of my overall health and resiliency .
Inside the Ag Reserve : I put on my boots or sneakers and hike or bike along the C & O Canal Towpath .
Intellectual n Emotional and Mental Well- Being . Positive social connections and relationships affect my mind , body , and spirit . As I engage with others , I reinforce healthy behaviors .
Inside the Ag Reserve : I grab some friends and sip on something refreshing at one of the wineries , cideries , breweries , or coffee shops . financial
Physical n Stress Management . As negative stress builds inside of me , it creates anxiety , depression , weight gain , immune dysfunction and more . As I pause to notice my thoughts and emotions , I settle and I shift into a better place .
In nature , nothing is perfect , and everything is perfect . Trees can be contorted , bent in weird ways , and they ’ re still beautiful .
~ Alice Walker
Inside the Ag Reserve : I join a goat yoga class or explore a vibrant garden and lose myself in the reverie around me .
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