Since I started practicing Nature Therapy I noticed many health and wellbeing benefits – my stress levels seemed to do down, my immune system improved – I was getting fewer colds and flues, and my general wellbeing got better. I was much calmer, peaceful, and happy.
Many scientific studies show that nature can have a positive effects on our mood and health – you can learn more about it here.
Here I would like to present you with a list of my top 10 ways of incorporating nature in my everyday life which are especially good for those who lack time and are always busy and on-the-go with not much free time or energy to spare.
- Do grounding – take off your shoes and sit/walk barefoot on the ground for 20-30min. Now that the spring has finally come and we can enjoy sunny warm weather it can be an easy thing to incorporate in your everyday life – for example, instead for staying in an office for lunch or going to a cafe, prepare a packed lunch and go to a nearby park or garden (or anywhere you can sit barefoot) and eat your lunch while grounding. It is likely that you will also be able to catch a daily dose of Vitamin D (did you know that, as a 2010 study showed, “over a billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient or insufficient”?) Some of the scientifically proven benefits of grounding include lower cortisol levels, better sleeping patterns, and more. Learn more about the benefits of grounding and how to do it here.
- Walk on green streets. Even if you do not live in a very green area, you might know streets/areas that still have at least a few bushes or trees. I recommend trying to incorporate a walk on such streets everyday – maybe choosing a greener route to or from work, or simply walking in a green area on your lunch break. It does not have to be a very long walk – anything starting from 15min is better than nothing, The good thing about this method is that you do not have to have a park/garden nearby, so it is widely accessible. This method also goes well with an idea of a “natural pyramid” – you can read more about it here.
- Keep plants at home/in your office. Nowadays many supermarkets sell flowers in pots, which is a perfect thing for those who don’t have time or simply don’t want to bother with planting themselves. These plants usually need little care – water a few times a week and sunshine are usually sufficient for most low-care flowers sold in supermarkets, thought I would recommend checking the needs of each plant before buying. Cactuses are also a popular option – small, cute, and low-maintenance, they are widely available in garden centres and have a long life span.
- Watch nature. If you can see trees out of your home or office window, try looking at them for a few minutes everyday. If you do not have greenery in the place you live/work, try posters – there is a wide variety of inexpensive beautiful nature posters to buy online. You can also get pictures of your favourite landscapes framed and put around your home or office. And when you are having a film night, why not watch a nature documentary? There are emerging studies showing that looking at nature images and videos can help decrease stress levels and signs of aggression – read more about it here.
- Switch to outdoors sports. Maybe try playing tennis outside instead of squash, jog in the park/forrest instead of gym, roll out your yoga mat in your garden (you can even invite your friends to make you feel less uncomfortable doing it on your own). When days become warmer and longer, there is a raising supply of interesting outdoor classes and activities – fitness sessions, yoga classes, qi-gong, and many others, so you can check out what is happening in your area. I also like doing seasonal sports – for instance I would not mind doing snowboarding and going to the gym in winter, but as spring approaches I would prefer switching to outsides sports – tennis, water skiing/wake boarding, horse riding, swimming, etc. This can also make your exercise routine a bit more interesting!
- Re-organise your home/workspace. If you have some rooms in your home that have a better view on greenery – say, one of your rooms’ windows opens up to the garden, try to spend more time in that room. Maybe once a week have a dinner laid up in conservatory rather than the back room, or if you are working at home, try to move your office to the terrace when it starts getting warm. If you are in a office, maybe you can ask to switch places for a month (or even a week) with someone who has a better view on greenery. Try to be as imaginative as possible – even little things count!
- Try to buy/consume more natural things. And it is not just about the food – more natural body care, cosmetics, clothes, house products, furniture – you name it! Consuming/buying more natural things makes you interact more with nature.
- Go to cafes/restaurants that have gardens/outside tables with a view on greenery. You can even try doing a barbecue party in your garden or a picnic in your local park.
- Listen to nature. There are lots of soundtracks on youtube with birds’ songs, wave sounds, and many other natural sounds. You can put them as background music when relaxing in the bathtub, just before falling asleep (some tracks can be 8 hours long or even longer), or when you need to de-stress.
- Smell more. Smelling is something that is a very natural thing to do when you are in nature. It was supposed to help our ancestors decide whether the food was worth eating or not, and could also indicate many important things about the weather and environment. You can be as creative as you like – starting with smelling your food before eating, to purchasing a few essential oils (there is a wide range of certifies organic essential oils, as well as oil diffusers on my Neal’s Yard Remedies personalised online site here) and smelling them a few times a day. These simple exercises can develop your sense of smell which we do not use that often these days, and also help come back to the present moment. Many essential oils and herbs also possess healing and calming properties.
If you have a bit more time to spare, I would always advise you to go into nature – ancient woodlands and wild places are the best, but even parks are good!
If you would like to immerse into the natural atmosphere and experience the benefits of Nature Therapy we invite you to join us for a Nature Therapy Walk in Surrey, UK. You can find more information about our walks and book your place here.