Spending time in nature has been proven to be good for humans. Even throughout the rush and bustle of the last couple of decades, as we have seen technology explode in use around the world, there will always be parts of us that need the Great Outdoors.
It has been shown that spending time outside can dramatically help to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, with these ailments becoming more prevalent, we must realize how to handle them in healthy ways.
If you are looking for actions you can take daily, weekly or even monthly to stay calm in the blur of life, here are 12 activities. Think about each one and select those you believe will help keep you both enjoy the natural world and stay calm no matter the situation.
1. Get creative while spending time outside.
Nature has been one of the most significant inspirations for art and design throughout the ages. Try to take it outside when you need to get out of your head or feel like you need a creative outlet. Keep your eyes and heart open for things around you that feel inspiring and artful. Take your focus away from the daily grind and work on something creative, from chalk art to breaking out a canvas.
2. Go for a wander.
Sometimes the hustle and bustle of life are what gets us so wound-tight. If you feel like your mind is too full, try walking around aimlessly for a while. Our fast-paced lives tend to mold us into very goal-oriented people. We walk with a purpose to a destination and rarely enjoy the journey along the way. So ditch the path and go for a wander.
3. Leave the headphones behind.
As technology developed, so did our need and connection to it. Nowadays, if we go out for a walk or bike ride, it is rarely without headphones pumping noise into our brains. If you are feeling overwhelmed, try leaving the headphones at home. Instead, take deep, conscientious breaths and take notice of the natural noises around you. Hearing life around you can often help to center you uniquely.
4. Visit a hot spring.
Tension often manifests itself in various muscles throughout our bodies. So instead of sitting in a hot tub or sauna in an enclosed space or filled with chemicals, go natural. Visit a hot spring and spend time sitting in the warm water and letting nature wash over you.
5. Do yoga in the sun.
Yoga itself is quite a calming activity that helps you become more reflective and aware of your needs. However, doing it outside can help you bring your perspective inside of you while appreciating everything outside of you even more. Get some vitamin D at the same time by practicing your flow in the sun.
6. Give into the swing of things.
Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to give in to our child-side. Playgrounds aren’t only beneficial for kids to use for play and exercise. You can get back into the swing of things by taking some time on the actual swings. Rock back and forth or get your legs into it to take up your heart rate and have fun.
7. Cuddle an animal in the Great Outdoors.
Our connection to nature has started to come indoors with the trend for homes to be urban jungles. However, it isn’t only plants that connect us to the Great Outdoors. Take time to cuddle an animal outside. You can interact with animals in some petting zoos, take your dog to the park and spend time with them outside or sit on your balcony with your cat. Both of you are bound to enjoy the time outside.
8. Take a picnic.
We all need to eat. If you don’t have much time to take an extended walk, practice outdoor yoga or visit a park, pack a picnic. Take your lunch break outside in a green space to take a break from the “office box,” so to speak.
9. Sleep under the stars.
Camping might not be for everyone, but you can sleep under the stars in more than just a tent. Glamping has become a popular trend. You can often find fancy wigwams, cabins or modified tents to sleep in overnight and get to enjoy the stars. Of course, you can always keep it simple by filling the back of a truck bed with plenty of blankets and pillows.
10. Ditch the shoes (carefully).
We all know the phrase “stay grounded.” Sometimes the easiest way to do that is to connect yourself to the ground again. If you are outside, consider taking your shoes off and walking through the grass. Take note of what the soft grass feels like and the dirt under your feet. Do also ensure there’s no glass, nails or anything else sharp in the vicinity before taking off your shoes.
11. Try looking at nature through a lens.
Almost everyone in the 21st century has a smartphone with a camera function. You don’t have to be a world-renowned nature photographer to be able to enjoy looking at nature through a lens. It will make you pay more attention to the finer details around you as you search for the perfect picture. Then, when you don’t have time to escape outdoors, you can always flick back through the pictures to mentally recreate a happy place.
12. Find a wild swimming site.
There are many types of bodies of water, many of which are calling out you to come for a dip. So whether you have a lake nearby, a stream or the ocean, give wild swimming a chance. Just make sure that it is clean and safe for you to swim in before you dip your toes.