Earth Day is observed every 22nd April since 1969, with the aim of increasing awareness about environmental issues. It is a way to inspire appreciation for the environment. Today I will not lecture about picking plastics from litters, recycling waste paper and upcycling plastics because I have done that before. We have to invest on our Earth and this article is about investing time to think of certain simple lifestyle changes which can make a huge difference in our lives. We need to realise and value the importance of nature and be grateful for earth’s gifts. Since Covid crawled in we have started a new practice. When mostly all trips had stopped, we started visiting our friend’s country house in the weekends for a change and that has now become a habit. There are many benefits of country living and I thought today is the best day to share the 4 major benefits which I have experienced.
Country Living is Restorative
One of the major benefits of country living is that there is something restorative about it, both physically and mentally. Country sides are less chaotic than urban areas in every way. We have more exposure to nature and often sprawling landscapes soothes our eyes and the soul. The rejuvenated mind results in elimination of weariness of the body, making us refreshed and energetic. Country living makes us creative, active and simple. There’s an enhanced sense of abundance and spirituality because of country living.
1. Enhances Proximity to Nature
Country sides provide us with cleaner air as the pollution from industries or traffic is far lesser. No honking sounds of horns at traffic signal results in lower sound pollution too. We feel at peace and we feel fresh when we go there. The sky looks bluer. Sprawling green fields, water bodies and trees rejuvenate the mind and body. More trees mean more birds and on top of that as there is lesser sound, it enables listening to the chirping of birds. We often get to listen to frogs and crickets by the pond at night. This is bliss to urban souls who live in concrete jungles. Proximity to nature tops the list of benefits of country living.
2. Availability of More Space
In the country sides, more physical space is available and that’s one of the benefits of country living. The localities are not cramped up and are free from concrete jungles. Most of the houses are large and well decorated. There are ponds around, mostly within the compound and ample space for gardening and growing your own vegetables. We enjoy planting and getting vegetables from the garden behind the house. They taste so distinctly fresh and then consuming self grown veggies give a different level of joy. I have to mention fishing. That’s another activity which enhances concentration and releases tension. Breakfast by the pond and painting, reading and chatting by the pond are some of our favourite activities in the house.
3. Physical and Mental Benefits of Country Living
One of the major benefits of country living is physical fitness. In general we see that people from country sides are fitter than urban dwellers. The reasons are simple and the foremost reason is that the air and food consumed are fresh and unadulterated. There is abundance of nature which is healing and abundance of space which enables more walking, cycling and exercising. Swimming is also a good option. Gardening and growing veggies also involve exercising and is great for both physical fitness and good mental health. Relaxing by the pond is absolute detox. It is very peaceful and enhances creativity. We involve the children in various activities like making sandwiches, gardening and painting. In this way they, from an early age learn the significance of greenery. Country living is a lot about simple life style because the people around are mostly simple and less corrupted.
4. Enhanced Saving
I have observed that when we spend our weekends in the country house, we end up spending lesser money comparatively. We would have spent loads on popcorn tubs and movie tickets at multiplexes and shopping and eating at shopping malls over the weekends if we stayed in town. At the country house, we have the advantage of our self-grown items and at the same time the cost of living in rural areas is low, hence things from the rural market cost lesser compared to those in the city markets. Even though it doesn’t strike us first but one of the benefits of Country Living is savings.
Country Living and Solitude
Mental refreshment during the weekends at the country house helps us deal smoothly with the demanding urban working week days. One of the major benefits of country living is that the solitude we experience is essential for us to be focused and relaxed at the same time. It helps us grow even spiritually. Even the Gospel (Mark 6:31) has it; after a long day of teaching and healing, Jesus often advised his disciples, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”