The smell of trees, fresh air, the sound of water flowing down rocks – there is truly nothing better than nature. The overall sense of inner peace it creates is unforgettable considering our everyday life is filled with loud noises and unpleasant environments.
Whether you’re constantly stuck in the city or confined to your home for long hours, we’ve got some great tips to help you get out and become one with nature.
Ground yourself in nature
If you’ve ever walked outside barefoot, you’ll know just how liberating it can be. That feeling of being so close to nature is invigorating, but this is normally suppressed by the shoes we wear.
A safe alternative to going completely barefoot, barefoot shoes have a thin sole and lightweight design that help to mimic the effects of barefoot walking. You’ll still get that feeling of being grounded, just with a little bit of added protection
Not only will these shoes improve your physical health but will also benefit your mental health, improving things like your mood, balance and posture.
Find a quiet spot to relax
Silence is an endangered species in the man-made world. Being unable to enjoy some much-needed peace and quiet can be detrimental to our health, resulting in symptoms such as stress, poor concentration and reduced productivity.
That’s why finding an outdoor space with minimal sound pollution is highly important. Whilst this may require additional effort to find, it’s well worth it, making a real difference in restoring your nervous system.
Alternatively, you can become more attuned to hearing natural landscapes that signal a peaceful environment. Listening to the sounds of waterfalls or rainforests can even help improve your sleeping pattern.
Show off your green thumb
Your garden, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is an extension of your home, although we tend not to use the space to its full potential. Gardening can have a significant impact on your wellbeing, improving your mood and quality of life.
Growing your own plants and food also has many environmental benefits: reducing food miles, improving air quality and producing food that you know is perfectly healthy to consume.
If you don’t have your own garden, think about ways you can overcome this. Could you ask family or friends if they’d be willing to let you use their garden? Are there any allotments in the community for you to set up a small garden of your own?
You could even grab some houseplants from a local store and ensure they are well looked after.
Go for a leisurely stroll
Whilst there’s nothing inherently wrong with going on long walks or hikes, sometimes it’s better to focus on exploring, listening and wandering around the natural world. All that’s necessary is a short walk, which can include the occasional break.
Don’t worry too much regarding the location, it’s more about engaging with nature and losing track of time taking in all of your surroundings. Pay attention to where you feel pulled to when walking – go off trail if it feels right.
Get your heart rate going
If you’re physically able to and feel comfortable doing so, try to exercise outside. Whether it’s running, cycling or some other form of sport, spending time outside partaking in something you enjoy is ideal.
Unless you’re listening to the sounds of nature, leave the headphones at home. Listening to the world around you can help to block out the stressors of daily life. You may also find this helps to reduce feelings of tiredness, sadness and anger. Don’t forget to take a break every so often as well to avoid fatigue.
Bring out your creative side
If physical activity isn’t really your thing, why not try your hand at some creative activities outside? This could involve anything from cooking to knitting or playing a musical instrument – as long as the neighbours are okay with it!
You can even improve your sense of connection by painting pictures of the landscape around you or taking photos. Capturing the beauty of the environment and expressing it in your own way can really help you to find an emotional connection to nature that will stay with you for years to come.
Protect the environment!
With nature doing so much to improve our health and wellbeing, it only seems right that we do the same. You can easily look after the environment in your daily actions and choices, making sure to recycle, walk or use public transport where possible, and clean up any rubbish outside.
So, those are our top ways to help you feel more connected with nature. You shouldn’t feel obliged to partake in all of the above and should take your time during each activity. Once you feel comfortable, try moving out of your comfort zone slightly and doing something different. Who knows, you may find a new hobby that you love!