When a prospective buyer goes over property listings, they seldom give much attention to the yard. They will digest essential information, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms or the kitchen’s size and layout. The age and condition of features and appliances will also undergo scrutiny.
The yard can be a factor in making a favorable first impression, but it often fades into the background afterward. And that’s natural. Shelter, a vital part of our survival needs, is defined as four walls and a roof over our heads. The outside is deemed extraneous, a luxury.
Yet ignoring that element when buying a home could be a waste of potential to improve your well-being. Neglecting to improve upon this outdoor space can deprive you of many benefits over the years. It’s time to change how we value this space as more than just part of the scenery.
Use native landscaping
Many American homes have lawns that have carefully maintained cover of Kentucky bluegrass or similar monocultures. This type of landscaping is costly, both for homeowners and the environment. It requires a high level of water consumption and chemical use, raises emissions due to constant mowing, and starves biodiversity’s local ecosystem.
Native landscaping solves those problems by planting only native, non-invasive species. Having evolved to thrive in local conditions, these plants create hardy, low-maintenance yards.
But the benefits of native landscaping extend to your well-being in several ways. Physically, your involvement in mulching, composting, and thoughtful planting keeps your body active. Mentally, you’ll be stimulating your curiosity in researching which species belong in your yard and noting the results in practice.
Nature is known to provide a soothing balm for our emotions. And the use of native landscaping creates an environment that attracts a wide variety of species, including pollinators such as birds and insects. Spending time in this green space allows you to observe the ecosystem around you and relieve your anxiety and stress.
If someone told you that the world harbors a vast, invisible energy field, and we could harness its restorative power by walking barefoot on the ground, what would you think? You’d probably dismiss them as peddlers of some pseudo-scientific quackery.
However, there is a growing body of scientific evidence to support the beneficial claims of the ‘earthing’ movement. Studies have shown that people who slept while connected to the Earth’s grounding field report an improvement in chronic pain and stiffness, restfulness, quality, and sleep time.
These benefits are especially significant for the 30% of Americans who suffer from some form of sleep disruption. 10% of adults also report symptoms of insomnia. And all of us could use some relief from stress and fatigue in our bodies.
The mechanism behind earthing relies on direct physical contact with the near-endless store of electrons in the Earth itself. Our modern lifestyles not only contrive to separate us from Earth’s electric field, but they also induce a harmful voltage in our bodies through various electrical systems and devices.
While we’re constantly being reminded to take a tech detox, you can go a step further. Go out in your yard and spend 30-60 minutes barefoot on the grass. Roll out a mat and take a nap under the sun or in the shade. The practice will thoroughly recharge you.
Exercise through natural movements
Besides taking a break from your devices and reconnecting you with nature and the planet’s electric field, your yard can also help you counteract modern living in one more way. It can be the perfect venue for increased physical activity throughout the day.
Today, many adults fall into sedentary patterns of behavior. At home or in the office, we are surrounded by comfort and convenience, as well as a slew of breakable objects. The tasks we perform in these settings seldom involve anything other than standing, sitting, or walking.
Our bodies evolved to perform a far greater variety of natural movements. We used to explore these capabilities joyfully as children, but they have fallen into disuse.
The MovNat principle of training your body centers around becoming strong to be useful. And your yard provides you with the most natural environment available to practice those movements right within your property.
Roll around on the grass, dash up a slope, lift and throw rocks, jump onto steps, hang from or climb up tree branches. If you’re too busy during the day or prefer to avoid the sun and curious glances of neighbors, install some outdoor wall light fixtures, and you’re set for the evening.
Your yard may not provide shelter, but if properly used, it can be the one space in your house that sees to your overall well-being.