Being close to nature offers many benefits, as countless studies have proven. Still, we fall trap to staying indoors, making excuses that limit us to interacting with nature. And one of these excuses is our inability to find nature and find ways to connect.Being close to nature offers many benefits, as countless studies have proven.Here is how to connect with nature, no matter where you live.
The truth is, we are surrounded by nature. More than you realize. While wilderness camping might not be in the cards, nor a weekend trip to the beach to smell the fresh ocean air, there are still many ways you can connect with nature. You just have to know where to find it.
Try Nature Photography
Take up a new hobby of nature photography. Even in crowded cities, you can find nature in parks or merely a squirrel or pigeon on your balcony. If you feel like venturing farther away, invest in some photography equipment like a tripod and DSLR camera, keeping everything secure and protected in a camera hard case. Head to a nearby pond or small lake with a watertight case too.
Stretch Your Legs and Go for a Walk
Walking not only allows us to get fresh air, but to connect with nature. Not to mention the health benefits, both mental and physical. Try something like forest bathing, taking a walk through a forest to soak up all nature has to offer.
At the very least, take a walk around your own backyard or within a local park. Put your cell phone on silent and take in all the sights of blooming trees or snow-covered banks. And don’t just walk with your earphones in; use your other senses, too, and take notice of all of the sounds, smells and more.
Connecting with nature is more than capturing mental photos or your surroundings. Listen to the sounds of the birds and the breeze rustlings the leaves. Wake up a few minutes early and experience the sunrise, which will inspire you throughout the day.
Hike or Exercise in the Park
Explore a local park, no matter how small it may be! While a city’s suburban areas might offer larger recreational areas with miles of hiking trails — which is fantastic! — you can also use smaller block-size parks to meditate or practice yoga.
Exercising and spending time in a local park, whether it’s walking or simply reading a book during your lunch hour, can allow you to connect with nature every single day. Even on a rainy spring day, grab an umbrella and break out the rubber boots. Be a kid again and enjoy the pitter-patter of rain all around you.
Join and Contribute to a Community Garden
Another way to connect with nature is by joining a community garden. While it would be amazing to create your own garden in your own backyard, not everyone has the space to do so. Instead, join a community garden where you can learn about growing veggies and then bring them home to eat!
There’s something truly satisfying about digging in the dirt! And seeing your hard work pay off and grow into something like a giant tomato bush can connect you with nature on a nutritional level too.
Invite Plants and Flowers into Your Home
Gardening aside, you can simply invite plants and flowers into your home. Even if you can’t make it to a community garden or spend much time growing your harvest, a few potted plants will do just fine.
Select an area in your home that offers ample sunlight and grow a few indoor houseplants. This could be anything from easy-to-maintain succulents you can place along the kitchen windowsill to a fiddle-leaf fig tree that softens a living room’s corner. If you love to cook, consider a small herb garden.
And if you simply lack a green thumb entirely, you can always pick up a pre-arranged bouquet from the market or grocery store. Choose something that lasts a while, such as carnations or chrysanthemums. You could also add a bonsai tree or orchid that requires minimal effort to keep alive.
Open Your Windows for Fresh Air
If you live in a mild temperate region or have mild weather for a few days, open the window! Opening the windows invites in fresh air, ridding your home of germs and volatile organic compounds that can be harmful to your health. Not to mention, it simply feels great when the air is feeling a bit stale.
Let in Natural Lighting
Even if you can’t open the windows, due to cold weather or other reasons, drawing back the curtains and pulling up the blinds can do wonders. Allowing the natural sunlight to flood your home can make a space feel brighter and more cheerful, in turn, uplifting your spirits. While it’s not exactly forest bathing, even the warmth of the sun’s rays can truly connect you with nature.
Research even suggests that natural sunlight improves mental health, both at home and in the workplace. On the job, in particular, sunlight gives a boost to employee job satisfaction.
Of course, winter months and some regions make it challenging to find sunlight. But instead of falling into Seasonal Effective Disorder, invest in a light therapy lamp that replicates the sun’s natural rays, exposing yourself to white light that increases positive emotions and outlooks.
How Will You Connect with Nature?
As you can see, there are many practical and easy ways to connect with nature. Whether you live in the bustling New York City or the rainy coast of the Pacific Northwest, don’t be afraid of the crowd or the rain. Choose to open your windows for some fresh air and sunlight or grab the umbrella and take a walk in the rain.
Now, whenever you feel confined to stay indoors, consider these tips to connect with nature on some level. It will improve your physical and mental health, keeping you happy and healthy.