6 Ways to Connect With Nature
By Brittany Rhoade
Going on a backpacking trip, climbing a mountain or laying out under the stars can reset your attitude, simplify your thoughts and let your body feel the peace of nature. But in most seasons of life, trips like these are far and few between. Nature can have powerful impacts on the body and mind. But how do we experience that without taking off work, finding a babysitter or saving up for a trip? Here are 6 ways you can expose yourself to the outdoors without breaking your budget or schedule.
1. Utilize what you have
Do you have a front porch, a back patio, a small patch of grass or even a window you can open? Take advantage of what you have around you. Drink your morning coffee on your porch. Step out onto your patio for a few deep breaths in the midst of a chaotic situation. Have a picnic in your yard and feel the grass beneath your feet. Open your windows and breathe in the fresh air no matter what the weather.
2. Go for a nature walk
During a typical outing for exercise or walking the dog, observe nature around you. Look for fallen leaves on the sidewalk or cloud patterns in the sky. Feel the breeze and sunshine. Smell the flowers and the air. Take out your headphones and listen for birds or squirrels.
3. Plant a garden
If you're looking for a good reason to be outside everyday, take to the soil and try growing something. It can be a pot of flowers by your front steps, a small patch for growing herbs, a window box of seasonal plants or a garden of vegetables. No matter the size, you can enjoy the cycle of life and power of the earth by growing something at home.
4. Find a secluded place within an hour from home
Find a park, hiking trail, farm, or wooded area that’s away from traffic noise and off the beaten path. Plan a time to go by yourself or with your family. Turn off your phone, think about things other than work or current life stresses. Enjoy the quiet and let yourself soak in the nature around you.
5. Take a day trip
You don’t need a whole week to enjoy an adventure. Find a state park, a nature preserve or forested area within a couple hours from home. Pack a picnic lunch, plenty of water and sunscreen. Enjoy a day outside exploring a local area.
6. Spend a weekend in the woods
A one or two night camping trip can be an awesome way to fully experience the outdoors. If sleeping in a tent isn’t for you, find a cabin or lodge. Getting out of our normal environments, removing modern day distractions and breathing fresh air can be restoring for our souls.
Once we start incorporating the outdoors into our lives, we begin to feel the affects of its power, even without a big wilderness adventure. Start with spending 5 minutes a day outside, plan a day trip for next month and let yourself soak in nature during those (even brief) moments you have outside.