Connecting with nature conjures up images of hippies in jungles worshipping Pacha Mama and making panpipes out of indigenous wood. Don’t be alarmed, that is not what this article is about.
Modern life, especially in large cities, is stressful and busy and often we do not have time to take a step back and appreciate nature. But, we need to do this. Our natural surroundings often get taken for granted but without them we wouldn’t have any oxygen or anything nice to look at outside of our concrete jungles.
Living in a city can make reconnecting with nature a challenge. However, the task is far from impossible, it just requires making a bit of an effort. So, how can you go about connecting with nature, even when you’re in the centre of a city?
Switch your phone off
You would be amazed at how much more you notice when you don’t have your eyes glued to your phone screen. The reason I advocate switching your phone off entirely, rather than just putting it on silent and hiding it in your bag is because of the psychological effect of it being off. If it is off you know you cannot be reached and the temptation to check your phone is therefore gone. Switch your phone off and look around for any trees or plants you can find. This is step one.
Go to a park
Reconnecting with nature doesn’t have to mean immersing yourself in mangroves for days on end. Simply sitting in a park or some other green space for an hour or so is enough to give you that dose of nature you probably didn’t even realise you needed. Look out for birds and squirrels and enjoy looking at something other than skyscrapers for a bit.
Mark out a route that will take you through some of the more peaceful parts of your local area and set off running. You don’t need to run through valleys or around lakes, even just along your local streets will suffice. Take in your surroundings, look at the sky, and try not to get hit by a car. You will still get that same feeling of serenity that comes with being surrounded by nature and you’ll get a nice rush of endorphins.
Book yourself a countryside retreat
For those that really need to get away from the city, a countryside retreat is a fantastic option for a weekend. Do some research and work out what is nearby and affordable and then book it. Vacations don’t have to be abroad, in fact there is something highly appealing about not having to deal with passports and airport security just to take a holiday. Spend your time in the countryside hiking, rambling and enjoying being in the great outdoors with plenty of fresh air.
Get into gardening
If you have a garden then this is going to be easy. If you don’t then see if there are any local allotments you could work in or settle for indoors house plants. Gardening is a fantastic activity for a number of reasons. Firstly, you will directly connect with nature as you handle and manoeuvre plants and flowers. Secondly, you will be able to visibly enjoy the tangible results of your labour. Thirdly, it makes your living space look so much nicer. If you are working in an allotment then you will have the added satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to a community project.