We’re wrapping up our month of focus on gardening, organics and more. We thought we’d end with something a little bit fun. A plea to you to get out and get in the dirt – and if you have kids in your life get them dirty, too. Why is that? It’s not just because we, personally, have a love of being really dirty. We’ve laid out our reasons for getting down and dirty (with yourself or a partner) below.
Build Your Immune System
Particularly for children, plenty of studies exist now that show that children who play in the dirt have better immune systems than children who don’t. There’s no bottle of hand sanitizer that’s going to build your natural immunity to things found in nature more than simply exposing yourself to things found in nature. There are real health benefits to being in the dirt. There’s no time in life when being in the dirt can’t be incrementally helpful to your overall health.
Build Your Mental Health
Dirt is good for your physical health, but it’s even better for your mental health. For most of us, we live such sterile lives that the opportunities to just cut loose and get dirty, in the most literal of ways, are limited. We believe that reducing stress is essential to finding the Satisfaction of Enough in life. And while there are many ways to reduce stress in your life, you may be shocked at just how much stress is cut out when you stick your hands (or more) into the mud. For some, there may be that moment of getting over the need to be hyper-hygienic (thank you, Western World). But once you do, you’ll find the tension flowing out of you as you experience the most satisfying feel of natural earth.
Build a Closer Relationship with the Idea of an Organic Planet
If you’ve read any previous Postconsumers articles, then you know that we often reference the current consumer separation between the source of items and their consumer, packaged product. The most common example of this is meat. To many people, meat is simply a processed food product in their grocery store wrapped in plastic and there’s no mental connection between it and the animal it came from or the grass that animal ate. Food isn’t the only example of this phenomenon, but it’s the most commonly used one. The only way to rebuild a connection with the organic side of our world is to interact with the organic side of our world. When you play in the dirt, you rekindle your relationship with the single most organic element – the earth’s very soil. For many, it’s even spiritual.
You Don’t Need to Live on a Farm to Play in the Dirt!
Before you say, “Well, that sounds delightful, but I live in a concrete jungle,” remember that there are plenty of ways to play with dirt indoors. Set up some indoor plants! Digging your hands into dirt in a pot isn’t all that much different from doing it outside. Really, it’s just a smaller scale. If you have children, let them grow a tiny indoor garden or flowers. For years, man slept on dirt floors every night. You don’t need to consistently think of dirt as outside and not inside.
So go out, get dirty, be healthy. And most of all, enjoy the time of year when dirt is abundant.
Did we miss a fact about getting dirty that you really, really feel that we should have shared? Tell us about it on the social media channels below.
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Photo Credit: Silvia Censi via Flickr