Connecting with nature feels magnificent. It’s restorative and allows you to step outside your busy life for a while and breathe. But there are already so many demands to juggle, work, study, family, that getting some nature time often falls off the to-do list. The good news is that you don’t need to commit to a weekend hike in the mountains to reconnect with nature. It can be a quick, restorative check-in that’s easy to integrate into your day. Try one of these suggestions right now to get a quick nature buzz.
- Touch nature
The easiest way to reconnect with Mother Nature is to take off your shoes and wiggle your toes in the grass. Any grass will do, whether it’s your back yard or a nearby park.
Choose to spend your lunch break in the park, resting your eyes on the soft greens and feeling the textures of grass, tree trunks, and leaves.
- Try some gardening
Nothing connects you faster to the rhythms and energy of the natural world than tending a garden. It doesn’t matter if your garden is a traditional lawn and garden plot, a communal vegetable garden, or your favorite herbs in pots on the windowsill. Even a pot plant or flowers on your desk will change the energy levels and make you feel good.
- Look up!
Make it a daily practice to notice what’s happening in the sky. Instead of checking the weather app on your phone, take a look out of the window, see what sort of clouds there are, the position of the sun. Use all your senses to be aware of what’s happening in nature right now. Are there birds singing? Are they making nests? What color are the leaves on the trees? What’s flowering right now? How does the air feel on your skin?
You can ‘read’ the environment through your senses – you only have to notice.
- Walk mindfully
Do you walk down the street with your mind already in your next meeting or worrying about how the last appointment went? So many people spend their lives in their heads, not aware of the world around them or how they are moving through it.
The Buddhist teacher and philosopher Thich Nat Hanh reminds us to slow down and be fully present in the world. One of his best-loved sayings bids you to “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” All it takes is a small but significant mental gear shift to stay connected to the earth and nature with every step.