Earth Day is April 22 and a perfect time to come together to celebrate God’s creation and reflect on our choices about daily living. The decisions we make today about how we live affect not only our own health, but also the health and well-being of others and future generations. Are your choices helping to purify your body, mind, spirit and the wonderful earth God has created for us?

Part of Adventist Health System, Shawnee Mission Health strives every day to live its mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ. We use the principles of CREATION Health—Choice, Rest, Environment, Activity, Trust, Interpersonal Relationships, Outlook and Nutrition—to help us fulfill this mission for our patients, their families and our community.
For example, to help foster a healthy environment and good nutrition, we recently constructed the Harvest Kitchen, a new, full-service restaurant at Shawnee Mission Medical Center offering live-action stations with fresh, made-to-order items and locally sourced foods. Patrons can watch while chefs prepare meals so they know the exact ingredients used.

Another way SMH is supporting a cleaner environment and encouraging activity is by sponsoring the Streamway Trail System in Olathe, Kansas, through a partnership with Johnson County Parks & Recreation. A designated National Recreational Trail, the Streamway Trail System consists of pedestrian, biking and equestrian trails, plus open spaces for jogging, picnicking and nature hiking.

Hospital associates and community members can also take advantage of a variety of classes at Shawnee Mission Health about topics like gardening, fermentation and landscaping to support our environment as well as other CREATION Health principles like rest, interpersonal relationships, nutrition and outlook.

This Earth Day, think about how you can celebrate our world and incorporate the CREATION Health principles into your daily life. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • C is for Choice. Exercise your power to choose. Decide today to change one thing in your life to positively impact your well-
    being or that of others.
  • R is for Rest. Taking time to relax lowers your stress and your blood pressure. Find a peaceful place outdoors to enjoy a good book or just take in the beauty of nature around you.
  • E is for Environment. Our external environment and our immediate environment both influence the way we feel. Identify ways you can foster a clean environment inside and outside. Recycle, plant a garden or participate in a community beautification project. Also, make a commitment to keep a clean, clutter-free home—an effort that will help clear your mind and create a sense of peace.
  • A is for Activity. Keeping an active body and mind promotes wellness. Think about ways you can be active to improve physical and mental health. Bike on a new trail, fly a kite, do a crossword puzzle or walk the kids to school today.
  • T is for Trust. Trust in God leads to stronger faith, allowing us to live a fuller life. Find a quiet, peaceful place outdoors for prayer and reflection to improve your spiritual well-being.
  • I is for Interpersonal Relationships. Interacting with others is important to our health. Enjoy time with friends, family members and neighbors by planning a picnic or an outing to a local attraction such as the zoo or botanical gardens.
  • O is for Outlook. A positive outlook is a great gift to give yourself and others. Finding ways to practice a positive, happy attitude will improve health and happiness.
  • N is for Nutrition. Good nutrition is essential for our health and starts with access to good food. A great way to always have fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs on hand is to plant your own or frequent your local farmer’s market.

Jackie Woods is a contract writer for Shawnee Mission Health.