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Tuning In to Nature’s Signals

sunny-forestI think we’ve lost a lot by distancing ourselves so much from nature and trying to recreate life as human beings. Here are the things I’ve done to start my journey back into getting in touch with nature.

Learning to Wake With the Sun

The best part of going to university was being able to get up with the sun. I left my curtains open, so light would flow in naturally and wake me. I loved opening my eyes with the lights turned on. I loved having sunlight to inspire me to leap out of bed. Sunlight is for me the physical manifestation of happiness, and our words like “beaming” and “sunshine” seem to represent the same experience for many of us. Tuning into the natural rhythm of the dawn has helped me really appreciate the sun more than ever before.

Developing a Thirst for Water

It’s taken me several years, but I desire water often and reach for it before many other things I could drink. I used to drink a lot of sweet soda, sometimes milk and occasionally juice. I kept at myself to try to drink water and of course, and I felt overwhelmed after hearing I had to drink 64 ounces (or 8 glasses) daily. Thankfully, I found out what 64 ounces really look like, and over time I added water to my workplace desk where it was easy to drink. Now, I drink water as soon as I get up in the morning and drink throughout the day with little effort (forget the soda, milk and juice). I feel so much better now, like I’m refreshed on a daily basis.

Jet Lag Advice

I learned somewhere that we have a 25-hour natural biological clock. This may not really be all that helpful, except when we have to shift our sleep and wake hours. Of course, the most common time we shift hours is when we fly across time zones and get “jet lag”. Flying East is harder on us, because it forces us to go to sleep sooner and wake up sooner, which is against the flow of our sleep cycle that wants to go to bed later and stay up later. So, I try to take an early flight East and maybe have a drink when I get there to help me adjust a little more quickly. Going West is a cinch. Just stay up later and get up later, which is what you want to do anyway.

Symbiotic Diet

Thanks to my dear friend Jen Neitzel, I’ve learned about the symbiotic relationship we have with bacteria that help us digest food and ultimately maintain health. Put simply, we got some tiny friends helping us, and they can help keep the tiny enemies at bay. As a result, I adopted a planned diet to help shape my own gut. I swear it’s working. I have many more nights that I remember my dreams than not. I have staved off several rounds of colds with only mild fatigue instead of full blown symptoms. Also, I notice how much stress can actually make me feel sick. Yep, the mind can affect your digestive health (and by extension your immune system).

Read about the Benefits of Sunlight on the National Library of Medicine site

Read about Water, Hydration and Health on the National Library of Medicine site

Read about Human Biological Clock Set Back an Hour on

Read about That Gut Feeling on the American Psychological Association site


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