Connecting with Nature for Mental and Physical Wellness

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Connecting with Nature for Mental and Physical Wellness

We all have an innate connection with nature. Have you noticed how a simple walk in the park or quick interaction with a friendly dog can make you feel extraordinarily alive? Despite the fact that so many of us are far removed from the natural world, being outside can spark happiness, restore our mood and lift our spirits.

However in 2020 much of that freedom to connect with nature has been challenged. Recent social distancing measures have taken life indoors for millions of people worldwide. Some parks now have restrictions and visitor limits. It’s still important to find ways to enjoy nature during COVID-19 for both your mental and physical wellbeing.

Regardless of where you live, there are ways to connect with nature both inside or out. Here are some ways to keep your connection to the natural world during these unprecedented times.

 

Plant a Garden

While not everyone has the outdoor space to plant a garden, those that do might want to consider taking advantage of the outdoor space they do have. Growing your own food, even if just one tomato plant, is wildly satisfying and a great way to connect deeply with the splendor of the natural world. If you don’t have a backyard, consider container gardening on the balcony, porch, or deck.

 

Take a Hike (Visit a State Parks)

If you’re fortunate to be near outdoor hiking trails, get outside and take a hike! Hiking won’t just help you connect deeper with nature. It’s excellent for improving wellness. It’s obviously great for your physical health, but did you know hiking can improve your mental health as well? The impact of social distancing on the mind is real, but getting outside and taking a hike could decrease some of that stress and anxiety you might very well be feeling.

 

Walk Around the Block

While going for a walk around the block might not seem like it would connect you too close to nature, especially if you live in the city, just making yourself get outside once a day can be incredibly beneficial. While you’re out, tune in as much as possible to the natural world. Notice blooming flowers, bird songs, butterflies and bees. Feel the sun on your face and be thankful. Taking a mindful walk around the block can do wonders to shift your perception and give you a deeper sense of connection to the natural world around you, no matter where you happen to live.

 

Buy a Houseplant

Don’t have houseplants? Now’s the time to get one. Whether you live in a small apartment or a big house, houseplants give you a direct connection to the natural world. Caring for them can also bring a lot of joy. If you don’t exactly have a green thumb, some easy houseplants to care for include spider plants, pothos, and philodendrons. Aloe and other succulents are also easy to care and excellent for anyone who’s convinced they can’t keep a plant alive.

 

Plant Herbs Near a Sunny Window

Even if you live on the 5th floor of an apartment building and don’t have a balcony, you can still connect with nature by bringing nature indoors. Growing herbs in a sunny windowsill is easy, inexpensive, and can help harness a serious connection to nature, without venturing outside at all. Growing herbs comes with a big bonus, too. You can use your fresh grown herbs in your favorite dishes! Herb kits can also easily be ordered online if you can’t make it to your local nursery.

 

Virtual Tours of National Parks and Nature Programming

Being required to distance ourselves socially has led to a lot more time spent online. Instead of binging on bad reality shows or mindlessly scrolling social media, take your mind outside by taking a virtual tour of one of the many beautiful US National Parks. The National Park Foundation has put together an amazing collection of National Park tours anyone can enjoy from home. There are of course plenty of fantastic nature programming on the streaming services as well.

 

Choosing to make connecting with nature a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic is an essential step for our overall wellbeing. Whether outside or inside, do yourself a favor and commit to exploring and enjoying nature as much as you possibly can.

Thanks for reading and please enjoy a bonus discount code:  READER17 for 17% off everything online now through end of November!

 

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