I love a place that feeds peace to my mind and gives wings to my heart. That place is nature for me. As a quiet person, I believe nature is a paradise. It lets me listen to the birds chirping, observe the leaves moving as the wind passes through and allows me to be in the moment by enjoying the natural creation of this world. Nature is an escape from the chaos in the world of humans. Around nature, there is no pressure for socializing. I am able to listen without talking. I am stressed during social setting about talking around groups of people because I feel I have to say something. I have always been able to de-stress and calm myself by being around nature. Although it was not just me, many of my classmates felt empowered during our Costa Brava excursion.
Our excursion on Tuesday was filled with nature and beautiful shoreline scenery overlooking Mediterranean sea at Costa Brava. We hiked along the shoreline of Camino Rhonda making our way to the beach and out onto the bus to get to the boat dock where we sailed Rafael (The Boat) owned by Captain Joan. This was my best excursion so far in the program not only because I was in my comfort zone but also because I saw nature take my past experience to the next level.
My past experience hiking in Massachusetts, USA introduced me to nature. I learned that there is a place where I can be myself without any restrictions. Then I found more about myself while doing a project with Dr. John Coumbe- Lilley. The project was on nature and emotional well-being. We walked around Matthiessen state park and it really helped me get away from the stress and focus on myself. During Costa Brava, I felt my energy was recharged. I have been in the city of Barcelona for two weeks, surrounded by so many people, and being involved in social gatherings more than I am used to. Costa Brava taught me that the way nature lets me reflect on myself and energizes me, there can be a place that would do the same for everyone.
It’s not a surprise that in the busy life, stress has become part of our everyday life. My parents have been working 12-14 hrs a day for many years just so that they can provide us a comfortable life. As we have learned in our classrooms, increasing number of stress in our lives have increased the risk for health conditions. Similarly, I have noticed my dad stressing everyday which in return the number of pills he takes have increased over time. Along with the medications, the doctors have advised him to exercise regularly to control his diabetes and blood pressure. Through class, we have learned that exercise increases positive mood and helps reduce health risks. I ask him everyday if he exercised and his response would be that I don’t have enough time. Throughout Costa Brava, I kept thinking that just asking someone to start thinking about their health does not help, something more needs to be done. If I were to take my dad to a forest preserve whenever he has time during weekends than it would not just bring us together but it would help him reduce his stress. He would get some physical activity and feel better since I know my dad’s happy place is when he can spend quality time with his kids.
As a health professional, I want to keep in mind after this trip that treatment does not only occur in clinics but it can be best done when a person is in their satisfying space. Nature can be used as one of the places for treatment as it is calming and relaxing. Just like Costa Brava and other natural forest parks calm my quiet soul and rejuvenates me, there can be a place for everyone that brings out their best. If searched than there is a place for everyone that can feed peace to their mind and give wings to their heart.