We’ve all been feeling a bit discombobulated in recent months. The pandemic has changed everything for most of us and it is not uncommon for feelings of fear, stress, anxiety, or depression to rear their head and leave us feeling less than well.
The good news is, nature always has our back. It may seem incredible, but nature is one of the best things we can use to boost our wellbeing. With that in mind, here are some really great ways to connect with nature and feel better by doing so.
1. Spend more time in green spaces
There is tons of research that confirms the amazing link between mental health and time spent in nature. People who spend time in green spaces are able to improve their mood, lower their stress levels and foster a greater sense of wellbeing all around.
It doesn’t matter what kind of green space you access; whether it’s the top of a mountain, the banks of a river, or the local park, if you spend time in a natural space for at least a few minutes every day, you will start to feel better.
Think you can’t get out so you can’t benefit? Think again! From investing in a mobility scooter and being able to travel up to 15 miles with it, to investing in a few house plants that you can sit with for a while, a little bit of nature is always accessible. Heck, even just opening the window so you can breathe in fresh air and feel the effects of nature all around you can make a whole lot of difference.
Meditation is one of the best things you can do for your mental health, and the same can most certainly be said of spending time in nature, so why not combine the two? The Japanese have created a practice known as forest bathing, whereby you hit up the nearest beauty spot, ideally a forest, but other kinds of nature can work too, and simply meditate on your surroundings. Feel the air on your skin, smell the rich earth and sharp pine, maintain an awareness of your breath and let your thoughts drift in and out without paying them any mind. Pretty soon you will be experiencing a world of relaxation; your senses will be more alive than ever and your mind will be freer than ever before too. Try it and you won’t be disappointed.
3. Meet good friends
Meeting good friends for a walk in the local park or countryside is a great way to not only benefit from the many healing powers of nature but also to ensure that you maintain a connection with other people. Connection is vital to good mental wellbeing, and anything you can do to stave off loneliness will help to maintain stable mental health. However, spending that time outdoors will help to ensure you are all as relaxed and carefree as possible, and that you put the devices down for a little while, which means the time you spend together will be of a higher quality.
4. Interact with the wildlife
Numerous studies have shown that being around animals has a soothing effect on the human mind, It can also help to lower stress levels and blood pressure, and boost immunity. So, spending some time feeding the birds and squirrels or even just watching them from the comfort of your own window can be amazingly good for your mental wellbeing. Just be sure to put out some food to attract them to you.
5. Do something creative
Being creative helps us get into a flow state where all of our negative thoughts and ruminations disappear and we are simply living in the now. That combined with the positive effects of nature, whether by making botanical drawings, photographic wildlife, or creating pebble sculptures, can be a hugely powerful boost to the wellbeing of all of us. The key is to not worry about being good at it; just decide on a project and get involved because it’s the process, not the end result, that’s important.
6. Get gardening
Gardening is a great way to get some fresh air, surround yourself with nature, and do a little physical activity, so it is not at all surprising that it’s great for boosting mental wellbeing. Not only that, but being in close contact with soil has been shown to boost immunity too, so it’s great for your physical health also.
Nature is a great healer, so what are you waiting for? Get out there and start enjoying it; it will do you the world of good.