Nature is something that exists around us in so many ways. We walk, run, and drive through it daily, even if we don’t realize it. You can live and spend your entire life in the heart of a big city and still come across nature in the most unexpected ways. Pockets of nature grow and thrive amongst the concrete and metal of city life.
Connecting with nature doesn’t mean you must be backpack camping in the wilderness for a month with no connection to life at home. However, when you spend your life separated from the immersive experience of nature, it can be hard to take a deep breath and reconnect with not only nature but yourself.
Some use nature to boost their creativity. Others use nature as an escape from the intensity of modern life. There are even some who spiritually acknowledge nature.
Much research supports the benefit of disconnecting from day-to-day life and using nature to support your mental and overall health. But, don’t worry, you don’t have to go on an hour-long hike once a week. Many small but effective ways to connect with nature can considerably impact your everyday life.
So, how do you do that?
One of the easiest and most effective ways is to start looking. Throughout your day, pay attention to your surroundings and look to find nature wherever you are. Cities do make it a little more challenging to discover nature. However, you’ll be surprised what you can see when you look hard enough. A community garden, local park, and small conservation are a few examples of what you could find.
Try taking the scenic route. Leaving a little earlier in the morning and taking the roundabout way to work could lead you to discover something you weren’t aware existed. Rather than sitting in that commuting traffic with everyone else, take your start of the day to relax and see if you can spot anything new. You could notice something that you never thought you’d see or find something that becomes meaningful to you.
Get out into nature. This doesn’t mean driving hours away to a national park and spending the entire day exploring. Though, that’s something you could do if that interests you. If possible, try spending a bit of time exploring the pockets of nature that exist around you.
Did you know that Hamilton, Ontario, has the most waterfalls in Canada? So why not take some time to explore some of these fantastic natural creations throughout our city.
Another way to connect with nature is to bring it to you. Not everyone can have a green thumb for growing plants and gardens. But many plants don’t require much attention, look beautiful, and can bring some life to a room. It doesn’t have to be a plant; you could get a bird feeder. Especially with so many still working from home, hanging a bird feeder outside your home office is a great way to see what local birds you can attract.
You could also find yourself a new hobby, get a local bird book and see just how many you can cross off from what comes to your feeder. Or, if you’re a food enthusiast, you could try growing fresh herbs in your kitchen.
There’s no set way for people to connect with nature. When you connect with the world around you, it’s purely yours, and you can use it as you see fit. These are just some examples of how you can start incorporating more aspects of nature into your life.