How nature can improve your life?
©Photo by Aline Bloch 2019
Growing up, I don’t remember a day I was not playing outside in the middle of nature. If it was not in the dirt, it was in the sand. If it was not in the middle of trees, it was on grass.
As far back as I can remember I was playing and exploring the outdoors. Luckily, I grew up in an area with a lot of green spaces. That made it easier to connect with nature. Today cities are full of secret gardens where we can take a break and reconnect with ourselves.
As long as we have an open sky above our head and we are surrounded by some greenery, we can benefit from nature.
Many studies show that nature reduces anxiety, depression, fear, anger, and stress.
But also, with all senses engaged with fresh air and nature, body and mind feel positively better.
Nature boosts creativity and problem solving, opens the mind and increases awareness. Nature heals, improves your mood and reinforces your immune system.
I recently joined a program that made me experience a reconnection with nature, and I am thrilled to share it with you. https://learn.wearewildness.com/
This program inspired me to create 10 little green habits to reconnect with Nature, allowing ourselves to unplug, disconnect from all the noise and reconnect only with what really matters to us.
Who doesn’t like adding a bit of adventure, a splash of learnings in their life, one tree at the time?
#1 – Walk - Take a 30-minute walk or run every single day – either early in the morning, during your lunch break or at sunset. Allow yourself to take a break every day.
#2 – Listen – Nature has so much to say. Go outside, at the park, in the forest, or in your backyard; close your eyes and listen. Allow your other senses to reconnect with all that is going on around you.
#3 – Unplug – How many times a day do we check our social media or email accounts? Take a day off – unplug electronic devices, including your phone. You will realize how much extra time you can get in a day to accomplish what you want.
#4 – Leave no trace – Pick up trash that others left behind during your walk.
#5 – Create – Boost your confidence and creativity by trying or learning something new: a craft, a new name of bird or tree, or a new sound.
#6 – Find and learn – Organize a family or friends scavenger hunt into the woods or through the city – make a list of unusual things to photograph or gather in a treasure box – a flower on concrete, a four-legged creature, a colorful butterfly, a sunset, a naturally occurring pattern, a nest. Do you know geocaching? It’s a real-life treasure hunt that get you outside, moving, exploring places you never discovered before using GPS tracker. You can do it solo or in group.
#7 – Connect with earth – If weather permits, take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot on grass, on sand, on dirt. Take off your gloves and touch trees, moss, leaves. Reactivate your senses.
#8 – Read – How many legends and stories related to nature can we learn, especially here in the PNW? Take some time to read and narrate what you learned about it.
#9 – Play with dirt – Bring nature into your home. Open your windows every day, add more plants into your house, and decorate your home with objects from nature.
#10 – Be grateful - Respect your environment, share with your family and friends, spread the word so together we can make a real difference: it takes a village!
“This story was first published in Issaquah Highlands’ Connections news, February 2020”