Wellness Tip: Channeling personal and environmental wellness for Earth Day

Three ways to boost physical and mental health while also benefiting the planet.

Personal health and wellness and environmental wellness are not mutually exclusive. In fact, millions of sustainably minded individuals exist at the intersection of these two increasingly important topics, and there are several ways to address both, even simultaneously, in your daily life.

Keep reading for three ways you can celebrate the wellbeing of the planet alongside your own health and wellbeing this April.

Spend time outdoors

Connecting with nature — and disconnecting from our screens — has been proven to have numerous benefits for health and wellness, according to David Strayer, Ph.D., professor of Cognition and Neural Science at the University of Utah. In a 2017 TEDx presentation, Strayer detailed “nature’s ability to be a restorative tool” for the brain, including contributing to improvements in short-term and working memory, problem solving and creativity, as well as reduced stress levels and increased feelings of positive wellbeing1.

“The idea is that there are increasing benefits from spending more time in nature and leaving the technology behind,” he said.

Dedicating more time to exploring and appreciating nature can also be part of practicing mindfulness, getting regular exercise, and creating work-life balance, all of which can benefit physical health and mental wellbeing2.

Show up in your community

Social wellbeing is a key aspect of overall wellbeing, and one way to enhance your sense of social wellbeing is to cultivate a sense of community. This can look like a random act of kindness, giving back to those in need, or maintaining high-quality relationships that encourage you to better yourself and lift up those around you3.

There’s never a shortage of needs in any community, and there are a myriad of ways to get involved in environmental activism and other community events that benefit the environment. Giving back can not only benefit others and the planet, but also give us a feeling of purpose that contributes to positive wellbeing.

Rethink the menu

Serving up breakfast, lunch or dinner with a side of environmental stewardship is probably easier than you think. While eating patterns and dietary needs differ from person to person, fine-tuning mealtime decisions for both personal health and environmental wellbeing can be done in one fell swoop.

For example, meal planning can help reduce food waste, and taking a more mindful approach to the ingredients and food groups we consume can benefit the planet in terms of emissions, biodiversity and conservation. Additionally, selecting ingredients that are sustainably sourced and produced, adding more vegetables to your plate than meat, minimizing consumption of processed foods, and maintaining a diverse and balanced diet can all contribute to the health of the planet as well as personal health and wellbeing, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)4.

All this aside, there are countless ways to celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and year-round. Visit www.earthday.org to learn more about the national holiday and how you can contribute, including through its Individual Action Toolkit here.


[1] TEDx Talks. (Dec. 12, 2017). Restore your brain with nature | David Strayer | TEDxManhattanBeach [Video]. YouTube. Accessed Feb. 21, 2024, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vRMRBxvtZA.

[2] WellSpark. (Nov. 26, 2023). “Minding your mind to be in the moment.” Accessed Feb. 21, 2024, from https://www.wellsparkhealth.com/minding-your-mind-to-be-in-the-moment/

[3] WellSpark. (Nov. 26, 2023). “Wellness tip: Putting the ‘health’ in healthy relationships.” Accessed Feb. 21, 2024, from https://www.wellsparkhealth.com/wellness-tips-putting-the-health-in-healthy-relationships/.

[4] World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). “How to eat more sustainably.” Accessed Feb. 21, 2024, from https://explore.panda.org/food/how-to-eat-more-sustainably.