Be one with nature for a healthier, happier life during the pandemic

We may be living in concrete jungles or cooped up within the four walls of our homes, but this does not have to stop us from being with nature to achieve a healthier mind and disposition.  Being with nature also promotes a more sustainable lifestyle.

Sarah Queblatin, Permaculture Designer and Educator, Co-founder and Executive Director Green Releaf Initiative, pointed out the importance of nurturing nature and understanding that it is a part of ourselves.  She spoke during the 12th edition of TAYO Naman! ((Tulong, Alaga, Yakap at Oras para sa mga Tagapagtaguyod ng Edukasyon), a 14-part webinar series of the Department of Education and Globe.


Despite mainly staying indoors during the pandemic, Queblatin said everyone should still get enough sunlight, breathe some fresh air, engage in gardening or other forms of exercise, drink enough water, and eat healthy food to boost immunity and relieve stress and anxiety.

“Nature increases our immunity to fight viruses, bacteria, and various illnesses. It heals our nervous system by reducing stress, anxiety, and environmental fatigue. It invites us to be calmer and makes us happier. Working with nature is therapeutic.  You have to experience it. We already have the means to recover inside of ourselves, but because of disasters and challenges, we tend to forget it,” she said.

Queblatin noted that to be with nature means connecting back to the basics and what is important to us, thus shifting our lifestyle.

“When we become simpler in the interrelationship between our food and our waste, then we start living the application of the connectedness of these practices,” she said.  “Think about our relationship with our bodies because our breath, our bodies are the representation of nature within us.  Let us rethink our relationship coming from how we see nature first and how we see nature as ourselves.”

By being aware of how nature takes care of humanity, Queblatin said it also becomes our responsibility to protect and restore nature by fighting against environmental pollution, the use of fossil fuels, industrialization of the agriculture system, mining, and other activities that destroy our natural resources.

We can also plant trees or support organizations that do so to ensure that forests stay intact. Even at home, we can create a small garden that could supply organic vegetables.  Aside from fresh produce, it is a therapeutic activity that is good for physical and emotional health.

Queblatin, likewise, encouraged educators to include lessons about nature in the different subjects to give students a deeper understanding of the four elements – fire, air, earth, and water, and their connection to our lives.  She also stressed the importance of working together to create a bigger impact, making a connection between cultivating our human sense of care for our community and learning to care for nature’s ecosystem through tending to a school garden.

​​To learn more about climate change education, the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS) of the Department of Education launched the Climate Change Education microsite that features curated resources for teaching climate change. The microsite can be accessed through this link: https://www.deped.gov.ph/climate-change-education/

The latest TAYO Naman session was hosted by the DepEd School Division of Lapu-Lapu City and moderated by Glenna Raganas, Teacher and SDRMM Coordinator.  She was joined by panelists Elena Berame, Project Development Officer III; Joseph Abing, Medical Officer III; and Jennifer Mirasol, Education Program Supervisor.

DepEd’s TAYO Naman! is an online Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) program for all education advocates, including teachers, non-teaching personnel, and parents. It is spearheaded by DepEd’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management Service (DRRMS) and Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development (BHROD) Employee Welfare Division in partnership with Globe’s Global Filipino Teachers (GFT) Series on Psychosocial Support Services, the Philippine Mental Health Association, Inc., and MAGIS Creative Spaces, and Unilab Foundation.

On August 20, the webinar will talk about “Nurturing Spirituality.” TAYO Naman is streamed from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. over the Facebook accounts of DepED Philippines, Deped DRRMS, and Globe Bridgecom.

 Globe strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG No. 3 on providing good health and well-being and UN SDG No. 4 for quality education. Globe is committed to upholding the United Nations Global Compact principles and contributing to 10 UN SDGs.

Learn more by visiting www.globe.com.ph/about-us/sustainability.html.

Featured photo courtesy of cottonbro on pexels

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