You don’t always have to go on a big hiking trip or even leave the city to connect with nature. In fact, you can get a taste of the great outdoors without even having to leave your house! With the pandemic going on, many people don’t want to risk going out and getting sick, so they’ve had to get more creative with their time. The lockdown forced us to learn how to enjoy the simple things again, like connecting with nature and slowing down a little bit.
You might wonder how you can bring the outdoors inside so that you don’t have to risk exposing yourself to the virus or allergens in the air. Of course, you can’t enjoy things like hiking and adventure sports in the comfort of your living room, but you can bring the healing properties of nature into your home. Below, we’ll go over how you can still get the benefits of the outdoors without even having to step foot outside.
“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir
Here are seven ways to connect with nature (without leaving your house):
Buy some house plants.
House plants not only look beautiful, but they have plenty of health benefits as well! Adding plants to your decor brings a slice of nature inside while helping to purify the air and boost negative ions in the environment. Negative ions, ironically, help us feel more positive and vibrant by increasing oxygen flow to the brain.
You have likely experienced this feeling while walking on the beach or through the mountains, soaking up the energy from tens of thousands of negative ions. House plants contain a smaller amount of negative ions, but still enough to boost your mood and make you feel more energetic. Here are some other benefits of house plants:
- they remove toxins in the air such as allergens, dust, and mold
- they help you feel more relaxed and calm
- houseplants may improve concentration and productivity
- taking care of plants gives you a feeling of pride and accomplishment
If you’ve been missing out on connecting with nature, buy a few plants, so you get the benefits of the outdoors without having to leave your home.
Listen to nature sounds on your phone, or buy a sound machine.
If you can’t get out to a waterfall or beach, bring those healing sounds right into your home to get similar benefits. Whether you find a relaxing video on YouTube or buy a sound machine with nature sounds, you will feel calmer and connected to Earth. Nowadays, you have dozens of options to choose from to bring the power and tranquility of nature to your ears right from your bed or couch.
Of course, it doesn’t compare to experiencing nature scenes in person, but if you don’t feel comfortable traveling to these places right now, the sounds can provide some of the same rewards.
Have some essential oils on hand.
Essential oils make an excellent way to connect with nature while helping you with various ailments, such as anxiety or depression. Here are some of the most popular essential oils as well as what conditions they treat:
This oil can aid in conditions of the stomach, such as IBS or Crohn’s disease. It also helps with headaches and nausea.
Perhaps one of the most popular oils, lavender can treat mental disorders such as anxiety and depression due to the calming effect it has on the nervous system. Some researchers say it can help with sleep disorders such as insomnia as well.
This oil has plenty of antibacterial and antifungal properties. It can be used to treat wounds, control dandruff, and get rid of head lice. It can also be used to treat athlete’s foot.
This oil can help to relieve stress and ease chronic pain and inflammation.
Used in lots of teas designed to help people fall asleep faster, chamomile can ease anxiety and stress as well as aid in sleep disorders.
This oil not only smells lovely but is used in many desserts due to its sweet taste. It can be used as an antidepressant, sedative, and antiseptic.
Eucalyptus oil can help get rid of odors from mildew as well as alleviate coughs and other symptoms of colds.
This can help reduce tension and stress due to its light floral scent, which helps ease the mind of worries.
Watch movies/TV shows or read books with nature themes.
Another great way to combat cabin fever, books, and TV shows can transport you to another world far away from your living room or bed. Of course, it won’t feel quite the same as getting out in nature yourself, but sometimes viewing it on our TV or phone can provide some of the same benefits. In fact, some studies have shown that even looking at nature can boost positive emotions and improve brain function.
Since we evolved around the bountiful plant and animal life, our modern environments don’t cater to our natural instincts. Many studies have shown that people in urban environments have poorer mental health than those who reside in more rural areas. Even if you live in a bustling city, however, you can always bring nature to you in movies and books. You will probably feel more relaxed, just viewing beautiful nature scenes.
Spend time in your backyard.
You don’t have to travel very far to get the benefits of nature – just walk out your back door and enjoy the sound of the birds and the feel of the crisp grass beneath your feet. Sit in a lounge chair with an ice-cold glass of lemonade and just enjoy the art of being for a while. It might not compare to Mt. Everest or the Caribbean Sea, but you can still take in the wonders of nature right from your backyard.
You could even build a birdhouse if you want to attract more animal friends into your yard. Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly skilled in woodwork, a quick online search can show you how to build one yourself. Use your downtime to enjoy the little things in life, like connecting with nature at your own home.
Start a garden.
Many people have used this time to harvest fresh fruits and veggies, as the food supply seemed a little uncertain at the beginning of the pandemic. Since a lot of people didn’t have to go to work, they used this free time to learn how to garden so that they could become more self-sufficient.
You don’t even need a huge space to grow your produce. Some people have also used 5-gallon containers found at hardware stores to grow their plants in. Others chose to grow herbs on their windowsills or even use a kiddie pool to plant some fresh food. Work with the space you have and make sure to grow with the seasons, so you have the best chance at producing a good harvest.
You don’t need to have a green thumb to get started in gardening; with a little practice and effort, you will have a harvest in no time.
Decorate your home with nature scenes.
Cabin fever making you feel stir crazy? Don’t worry; you can still enjoy nature in your own home by decorating your space with beautiful wilderness scenes. Buy tapestries that have nature on them, such as trees, mountains, and rivers. You could also purchase paintings or pictures of nature, or even hang up your nature photography if that’s your thing.