Arbor Day is here, and with it comes a wonderful opportunity to improve the world around you, along with improving your health and wellness.
My first memory of Arbor Day was when I was a child in elementary school.
They gave every student a tree to take home and plant in their yard.
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I grew up on 10 acres in the country surrounded by trees, but I was excited to put my little tree in the ground.
That tree grew for years!
It wasn’t until 30 years later that I got the news from my mom that the tree had to come down due to damage from a storm.
Thankfully, there are still children and adults worldwide who continue to celebrate Arbor Day and plant trees for future generations to benefit from.
What is Arbor Day?
Arbor Day originally began in Nebraska City, NE, in 1872.
Pioneers moving to the area noticed a lack of trees in the area.
Not only did they miss the appearance and presence of the trees, but they were also impacted by the lack of resources trees created.
The first one was held on April 10, 1872, and it’s estimated that the residents planted over 1 million trees that day, with the incentive to earn prizes for participating.
Over the years, every state and many countries worldwide have joined in on recognizing the holiday.
While we celebrate the day on April 22 in the States, some countries celebrate it on a day that fits the best time of year for planting trees in their climates.
While Arbor Day is worth observing for the simple act of continuing to plant and care for trees in your area, it can also help you improve your mental health and wellness.
How Nature Impacts Health and Wellness
Research and studies have found many health and wellness benefits of spending time out in nature:
- Increased levels of physical activity
- Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduces the negative impact of stress
- Decrease in anxiety and rumination
- Improved attention and brain activity
- Reduced blood pressure
- Increased levels of intracellular anti-cancer proteins
- Lower psychological distress in teens
- Improved sleep
These are just a handful of the positive benefits that have been linked to spending time in nature and green spaces.
Therefore, celebrating Arbor Day can benefit the planet and you as an individual.
Ways to Celebrate Arbor Day
1. Go for a nature walk
Make time on Arbor Day to get out in nature and go for a walk.
Find a local, state, or national park and walk or hike.
You’ll be able to take in the beautiful scenery, like the variety of trees, while also reaping the benefits of spending time outdoors.
2. Plan a tree-planting event
Arbor Day is about planting trees, so get together with friends and family and start planting!
You can plant trees in your own yards, or you can contact your local leaders to see if there are areas you can plant trees for the community, such as a public park.
Planting trees for the community will help spread the beauty and benefit of the trees to those in your area.
You may also find that others want to jump in and help you.
Turning Arbor Day activities into a party is also a great way to connect with others, which means additional benefits for you.
Not only do you get the benefits of being outside and moving around, but you can also connect with others, which is a great way to boost mental health.
3. Create art about trees
You can use your talent and passion to celebrate Arbor Day if you’re artistic.
Choose the activity you enjoy the most and get to work.
- Write a poem about trees
- Create a story about nature
- Write a song about trees or the planet
- Paint a picture of trees
- Sculpt a tree
The options for incorporating art and Arbor Day activities together are limitless.
And since art is also an effective way to boost your mental health, the benefits are two-fold.
4. Join a class to learn how to plant, prune, or identify trees
Don’t let Arbor Day be a one-and-done activity each year.
Instead, use this year as the year to help you continue impacting the world going forward.
Sign up for a class to learn how to plant and care for trees.
Join a nature group to learn how to identify the different trees and how to protect them.
Educate yourself on trees, nature, and what you can do going forward.
5. Plan an Arbor Day block party
Make an impact in your neighborhood by organizing an Arbor Day block party.
This will allow you to beautify your surrounding area and connect with your neighbors.
Work together to plant trees in your common areas that everyone can enjoy.
You’ll get the benefit that the trees bring to your neighborhood while building relationships with others, which is important for mental health and wellness.
6. Spend some time sitting in the shade
Use Arbor Day as a reason to get out and enjoy being around the trees and nature.
Find a public area where you can get outside and side in the shade of a tree.
Choose an activity you can do while you sit and experience the benefits of nature.
- Read a book
- Meditate or pray
- Take a nap
- Have a picnic
- Drink a coffee
- Visit with a friend
- Watch the clouds
- Listen to the birds
- Play a game with family or friends
7. Visit a local orchard or tree farm
What better way to celebrate Arbor Day than by spending time at a local orchard or tree farm?
You can walk among the trees and experience all those health benefits of being in nature.
Orchards and tree farms are also great places to ask questions about trees to find the right trees to plant in your yard or community.
Many orchards even offer classes educating the public on a variety of topics.
You may find an orchard or farm in your area that has organized Arbor Day events or is running sales for anyone looking to purchase trees for the holiday.
8. Show your gratitude
Focusing on gratitude is a great way to improve your mental health and wellness.
There are many ways you can incorporate gratitude into Arbor Day.
Write a letter to a local gardening club or the group responsible for caring for the trees in your community.
Journal about your gratitude for nature and its impact on your life.
Thank those who were part of previous Arbor Days, therefore, providing you with the benefit of enjoying the surrounding trees.
Build Time in Nature Into Your Life Starting With Arbor Day
I hope you make time to recognize the benefits of trees and nature in your life this year.
But I hope you incorporate these activities into your routine.
Overall in society, we spend a lot of time indoors now.
Reread the health and wellness benefits listed above that come with spending time outdoors.
Then make a plan to be out in nature more.
Your future self will thank you for it!
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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