Sometimes, people don’t make any effort to have some sort of contact with nature. This may happen because they’re too busy with work, school, family, or something else. Or maybe they just aren’t that keen on being near nature. Others may not be able to go out at all due to the pandemic.
A person’s gesture to distance themselves from nature may change if they see and understand how it can benefit them in many ways.
Benefits of Nature on Your Well-being
In a 2018 survey by the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of the respondents reported they were stressed. Stress has several causes. But in the past year, one common source of stress for everyone is the COVID-19 pandemic. In the U.S., eight in 10 adults said the pandemic stressed them out.
It’s normal to feel stressed. And when you do, immersing in nature will help you. Exposure to green spaces can help reduce stress.
A compound effect of reducing stress is having a better mood. One study found that even just 10 minutes of exposure to nature helped college students feel happier due to reduced stress. Based on this study, you can always make time to be near nature to reap one of its benefits. If you’re taking a 10-minute break from work, consider stepping outside and observing your surroundings instead of scrolling through your phone.
Being close to nature can make you more productive. In one study, two groups of people were made to look at either a concrete roof or a roof with blooms for 40 seconds. The group that looked at nature was able to focus more on their tasks than the other group.
How to Be Closer to Nature
Become a Plant Parent
You can feel closer to nature even without leaving your home by becoming a plant parent. Consider putting indoor plants around your home. For example, you can put one by the window in your living room. You can also place a small potted plant in your work area just to add a feel of nature to the place where you spend most of your day.
If you’re worried about maintaining plants, there are many low-maintenance indoor plants you can get. Some examples include snake plant, spider plant, and Chinese evergreen, among many others.
Go Al Fresco
If you have space in your backyard, consider eating lunch or dinner outside a few times a week. You can also just stay outside for an afternoon tea break, if you’re too busy at other times of the day. If you choose to eat outside several times a week, consider investing in a sunshade to protect yourself from the sun. For example, you might pick something similar to a commercial retractable canopy. You can use it whenever you want and fold it back when you don’t need it anymore.
Dining outside is a great way to reconnect with nature. It’s also a way to reconnect with the people you live with, whether they’re your family or friends. You can even make a rule to forbid the use of smartphones or any handheld gadget while you dine. Doing this will help you prevent distractions and be more mindful of your surroundings.
Let Natural Light In
Sun is an important part of nature. So as much as possible, you need to let natural light into your home. You can do this by keeping some of your windows open. You can also replace dark window coverings with lighter ones. Or better yet, install window blinds instead so you can still let light in even though your windows are covered.
If there aren’t a lot of windows in your home, adding mirrors to certain areas will help you amplify the natural light available to you. Consider adding one at right in front of one of your windows. Doing this also gives you the added benefit of having your space look bigger.
Use Nature-themed Decor
You can also replicate the feeling of being close to nature through interior decor. You can try doing a rustic theme in your home, which is quite popular on social media. Consider using wooden crates as shelves. Or once you’ve become more accustomed to having indoor plants, you can use hanging plants as decor or place small potted plants on wooden wall shelves.
Being close to nature can bring valuable benefits to your well-being. Even if you’re stuck at home due to the pandemic or simply don’t want to leave your house, you can still make some arrangements to commune with nature.