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Unveiling Nature’s Power: A Wedding Speech for Millennials’ Well-being

By Verla Fortier January 23, 2024 Health and Fitness

At my son Max’s wedding to Sarah, as the mother of the groom, I found myself delivering a speech on nature’s power that unexpectedly resonated with the entire audience, particularly the younger generation. Reflecting on the impact, I realized the relevance of the message beyond the wedding celebration and wanted to share it with a wider audience, especially seniors in my Sixty and Me community.

Where Is Normal?

Recalling a childhood memory with Max, I recounted a moment when, as a Grade 1 student, he asked me “Mommy where is normal?” I was distracted and answered, “I don’t know, you tell me.” After a minute or so he said, “I think it’s out in the middle of the lake somewhere.”

I’m sure if I asked him the same question today, he would likely say “normal” is anywhere in the world, preferably outdoors in nature, and always with Sarah.

Childhood Memories in Nature

During Max’s early years, he enjoyed lying on the ground, gazing into tree branches, and calling the dancing light “angels.” Fast forward to the wedding day, many of Max and Sarah’s friends told me how much my speech reminded them of their precious childhood memories at lakes, rivers, with trees, and in nature.

My speech really connected with the 20–30-year-olds – a demographic deeply immersed in careers and technology – and made them remember nature’s significance in their young lives.

This highlighted for me that not only do I need to share this outside mindset message with my generation, but it is just as important for the younger generations. So, following the wedding, on my podcast Your Outside Mindset, I shared personal insights gained from battling lupus, urging this younger generation to incorporate nature and green spaces into their daily lives.

7 Reasons to Spend Time Outdoors – Every Day

In collaboration with Max and Sarah, currently residing in London, I compiled seven compelling reasons for spending 20 minutes daily outdoors:

Reduced Worry

Green spaces alleviate rumination, breaking the cycle of fearful thoughts and promoting better mental health.

Enhanced Clarity and Well-Being

Outdoor environments facilitate a light, easily shifting focus, restoring attention and cognitive function.

Immediate Stress Relief

Nature’s patterns decrease stress by up to 60%, providing quick relief in your mind and body at the same time.


Studies show that regular exposure to green spaces can increase lifespan by 8-12%.

Resilience Building

Green spaces contribute to faster recovery from stress, fostering resilience in facing life’s challenges.

Emotional Regulation

Spending time outdoors helps balance and regulate emotions, promoting a sense of well-being.

Improved Mood and Self-Esteem

Just five minutes in green space positively affects mood and self-esteem, and helps prevent/manage chronic illness.

The Essential Role of Nature

Summarizing these benefits, I emphasized the profound impact of green spaces on physical health and well-being. These findings were shared in more detail in my book, Take Back Your Outside Mindset where I highlight the transformative power of embracing an “outside mindset.”

Personal experience taught me to turn the darkness of a lupus diagnosis into joy and light by immersing myself in green spaces. I encourage you and yours to step away from your screens to spend a few minutes in nature, and embrace the positive changes it brings.

So my message goes beyond a wedding speech, and I hope it serves as a reminder to all age groups about the essential role of nature in creating a healthier and more balanced life.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How often do you go out in nature? Have you noticed any effects on your mindset? Do you feel calmer, less worried/stressed? What other benefits do you think spending time in nature has had on your health and well-being?

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I think that we need to pause and slow down to admire the nature around us, the smell of rain, the cold of winter, the heat of summer and the cool autumn air…sooo good. Thank you for great article


As a self-proclaimed homebody, your suggestion of outside time really speaks to me. My current outside time is a non-daily walk and fetching the mail. Gardening in the warmer months is a pleasure, too. I will spiffy up the patio at the first sign of spring and get my body out of my home daily. Thank you for the reminder of younger days when “outside” was all there was to do in my tiny Texas town.

Carol S.

I really appreciate this post. My son is getting married in 2025 and it not only inspires me to think deeply about what I want to share at his rehearsal dinner, but the message of nature improving our lives is something I resonate with. Thank you.

Patricia Lanton

Good Morning Margaret! And Sixty and Me Sisters! Happy Wednesday Blessings to you all

Patricia Lanton

I love going out in Nature! I walk my grandkids to school and I love to connect with The Holy Trinity! Thanking Father God for All his Wonderful Blessings! Sending Love and Peace to All 🙏❤️🙌🌄💯

Alainnah Robertson

A timely reminder for everyone! Thanks!

The Author

Verla Fortier, a retired professor of nursing, manages her lupus erythematosus by living and playing outside in Pine Falls, Manitoba, Canada, on the edge of the boreal forest. For free evidence-based green space health tips visit her website

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