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Do we need green spaces?

I've always enjoyed and appreciated living on an island but I've hardly thought about the importance of sunshine and greenery. It's everywhere in Barbados and like everything else that you have a lot of, it's easy to take it for granted.

The COVID-19 pandemic and more recently the La Soufriere volcanic eruption in St Vincent and the Grenadines has really made me contemplate how important being outdoors is. I hope to never experience the apocalypse (ha ha!) but this is all I could think of, when the bright, vibrant island of Barbados became grey and dismal, basically overnight, as the ash fell. The negative effects of this was far reaching on our mental and emotional well being. We shall never forget this moment in time.

Dawn Clarke's (Fern Trail) market stall
Dawn Clarke's stall at Brighton Farmer's Market

Fast forward, several weeks later, I am blessed with the privilege of experiencing the sunshine once more and I'm overjoyed to participate in the mundane : Watering the plants, running errands, taking a walk. Activities I would have not too long ago deemed "boring everyday life".

Research suggests that getting outdoors and being in nature is a simple way to reduce anxiety, stress and improve your overall mood. My experiences over the last year has led me to think this must be true. What do you think?

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