- Bring the outdoors inside
- Take a Walk/ Hike
- Adopt a Seasonal Diet
- Walk Barefoot
- Spend time with animals or birds
- Get Outdoors
The past year has tested us in more ways than one. All of us have felt the effects of being confined indoors. Screen times have increased more than ever, and physical or mental wellbeing seems to be depleting. Isolation had made us apathetic, constantly stressed by negative emotions, running thin on optimism & patience.
At our core, humans, like all other animals have been wired to stay connected with nature. This is the reason why we are perpetually engrossed and even tranquilized by it. Of course, today we don’t need to hunt for food or shelter, but somewhere, our rhythms still sync with the living world. And when we feel burnt out, lost, or unhappy, reconnecting with nature can bring back a sense of calm and spark hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Even in a world where wild free spaces are a rarity, we can still do some things to instantly feel connected with nature. These simple things offer a great way for us to pause, refresh and reconnect with our inner self and with the world around us. Here are some ways to reconnect with nature:
Can’t step out? No problem. Just decide on a small nook and stay in touch with nature by creating your own mini-ecosystem. You can buy plants from your local nursery, set up a balcony garden or, several online services that offer plant subscriptions, vertical gardening options, and even mini terrariums. Or, it can even be a community garden, Spend time every day tending to your plant babies, watch them flourish, and bring over a sense of happiness and calm for you. For example, you can start small if you’d like planting a few jars of herbs (a great way to add some delicious greenery to your home!) or lower-maintenance plants that don’t require too much work. Indoor gardening is a great way to reconnect with nature, and is proven to be therapeutic, and is a simple yet effective way to inculcate meditation in day-to-day life.
Now more than ever, getting outdoors is the only way to break away from the monotony of life. We spend our days cluttered with technology and devices and our lifestyles have become majorly sedentary. With in-house gyms popping up in every locality, our time spent outdoors has taken a hard hit. Going for a stroll or a jog can give us a welcome change of scenery, with the fresh air helping us clear our minds. Additionally, this is a good way to include physical activity. While on a walk, we also notice nature, birds, insects which center us, make us appreciative of life, and widen our perspective to life.
There is a much deeper way to reconnect with nature than just being in its presence. Adopting a seasonal diet is one of those ways.
As a generation, we have reached a stage where everything is available all year round. We now have mangoes in winter and apples in the mid of summer. While there are certain upsides to this (food safety, reduction in wastage), it has made us lose connection with nature and our local environment. Eating seasonally also has multiple health benefits because the produce is freshly harvested. Our bodies’ nutrient demands vary with changing seasons- for instance, grains and other produce in summers have cooling properties (cucumbers, watermelons, etc.), it is perfect to keep us hydrated and refreshed. It’s worth paying a visit to the local farmer’s market and picking up fresh fruits and vegetables. This process of picking farm fresh produces syncs all our senses with the current season, minimizes our impact on the environment, and makes us healthier, too.
The best way to stay grounded is to touch it. This age-old practice often called ‘earthing’ or ‘grounding’ refers to the practice of walking barefoot on grass or the earth. This is known to create contact with Earth’s surface electrons and has multiple physiological and physical benefits like better sleep, reduced chronic pain, and better immunity. Try to spend a few minutes in the morning walking barefoot on grass, inhaling fresh morning air, and feeling the sun’s first rays on your skin. Or if you have better access to a beach, try strolling and feeling the sand under your feet. It will rejuvenate you. This deep connection with nature and the earth soothes us and makes us grounded.
Another way to reconnect with nature is to take an interest in not just the flora but also the fauna.
Animals and birds embody many qualities of Mother Nature. And so, spending time with them instantly grounds us. Quality time around pets or animals is proven to have amazing health benefits too. They teach us to be better beings. There are plenty of ways to reacquaint nature – walk your dog, build a simple birdhouse or a bird feeder, spend time at a local shelter or farm, volunteer to foster a pet, to list a few. All of these activities can be done with children as well and teach them the importance of preserving nature.
If you have access to it, spending a night outdoors can be a fun way to enjoy time in the lap of nature. You can take a break from technology, and try outdoor activity days like rock climbing, glamping (!), fishing, canoeing. Most of the campaign sites offer hike maps and compasses for kids. Even pitching a tent in your backyard can be fun yet a relaxing way to break away from routine. You can string a hammock, build a fire pit, toast some marshmallows and gaze at stars. These are great ways to encourage them to spend time outdoors, learn ways of survival, and appreciate nature rather than staring at the screens.
The present digital age has drifted us farther and farther away from our natural instincts and habitat. With the widespread concrete jungles, many of us are finding ourselves a part of an inescapable cycle and our natural instincts have been buried deep within. But it’s never too late to find your roots again. Step outside, breathe some fresh air, listen to the birds chirping and you will be on the right path again.
Let us know in the comment how you like to connect with nature. What are your favorite ways? Did we miss something on our list?