Reconnecting with nature is very important in balancing mind, body and soul. It recharges our mind, encourages us to stay physically fit, and helps us stay on track for our personal development goals. Here are some of my favorite ways to connect with mother nature. Why don’t you try some of them yourself this long weekend?
Given that the human soul is the very core of our human nature, we might note that, when we are guided by soul, we are guided by nature. Both soul and greater nature do guide us in our individual development, whether or not we ask for this guidance. But if we know how to listen, we can benefit much more. ~Bill Plotkin
Many summer days have ended with me having to wash my feet because I love walking barefoot. The feeling of the grass, sand or even dirt under my feet feels so energizing.
Watching the sunset or sunrise
Mornings are not really my thing, I am DEFINITELY more of a sunset girl. I can relax and find peace after the even the most hectic day while watching the sunset. Add in a body of water (pond/lake/ocean) and I am super zen! Even though mornings suck I have managed to drag myself out of bed for a couple of sunsets in my life and it was TOTALLY worth it. It gives you a real appreciation for the opportunities the new day ahead has for you in the most beautiful way.
If you are into yoga and haven’t tried doing yoga outside please go, try it now! Or whenevers good for you. But do it, it feels so freeing doing a nice slow yoga practice outdoors. Barefoot = bonus connection! If you are nervous about doing it outdoors or feel embarrassed try it first in your garden or another private place (maybe a quiet trail?). You can get a feel for it by doing a few stretches and lunges. If you love it the way I do you’ll find yourself going through a vinyasa in the park or on the beach with less and less worries about what passers by may think.
I am by no means an expert but every year I try to learn more about gardening. I started with a basil plant in university, 4 years later I use my oma’s garden to grow a small selection of vegetables (peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, kale, and herbs). Am I the only one that thinks nothing tastes better than vegetables you have grown yourself? Have you tasted freshly picked tomatoes that are still warm from the sun radiating on their skin all day, they are much more flavorful and juicy! Planting the vegetables gives an opportunity to get stuck into nature by using your hands in the soil to get the conditions right to plant your crop. Maintenance of the garden requires commitment and an opportunity for mindfulness exercises and meditation. Harvesting the crop gives you tasty food that feeds your body, mind and soul.
To me that means hiking, exploring trails, camping, canoeing or checking out local festivals (like yoga or holi-inspired festivals). My husband likes the same things, and more extreme adventuring (scuba diving, rock climbing). Doing these things makes us feel connected to nature, and more connected to each other when we do it together. How do you like to adventure?
Build a fire
Using my knowledge of nature and the elements to get a fire started is awesome. I suddenly feel connected to one of natures elements that is more difficult to connect with. Even if I don’t build it, being around a campfire is both relaxing and exciting.
Stopping to smell the flowers
One of the most simple things to do, and also one of the most neglected. I don’t often see people stopping to smell the flowers. I do this often because it brings me joy. I love smelling flowers, looking at the details of different flowers, and feeling them. Stopping to do this brings a sense of calm to me and makes me happy. If you don’t already do this you should try it!
With kids, specifically my Nephews and Nieces. I find it refreshing to see children interacting with nature. Kids know how to appreciate the wonders of nature. They marvel at things that adults don’t give a second thought to, like flowers, clouds, and sand. I believe if we all took time here and there to marvel at these small things it would give our minds a break from the hectic lives so many of us live allowing us to reconnect with the most basic things in life.
Being in or around water
One of my favorite ways to relax after a particularly stressful day is to go for a walk around the pond/lake/sea or going for a swim. I’ve always lived within about half an hour of a nature reserve, park or beach and often would wander to the water to dip my toes and clear my head. This ALWAYS helps to clear my mind, de-stress and relax.
Showering in an OUTDOOR shower
Weather its on a beach or in the outdoor ‘Powder Room’ by my cabin at an ‘eco resort’, I LOVE outdoor showers. Feeling the wind on your skin and hearing the wildlife surrounding you while the sun hits your body is such a tranquil experience. If your in a public place try to tune out other people for a minute to enjoy the moment. If it is in a private cabin enjoy the moment for as long as you like, being present to appreciate the nature surrounding you as you become one with nature.
DISCONNECT from technology
We are less connected with nature than ever before because of our busy lives and the online connected world a lot of us live in. It’s easy to not appreciate all that nature has going on when we are in it, when we all have so much going on in our lives with work/school/love/children, then adding the social media into the mix its near impossible. We start to worry about how we can make our experience look the best to the audience (with the right filters and angles) rather than living in the experience. I try to be present when connecting with nature, but I know I am guilty of not always living in the moment. If you catch yourself living your experiences through a screen a way to help focus is to leave your phone at home, or in your bag. If you NEED to take that snap or instapic, limit yourself to 1 picture and put your phone away for the rest of the time (you can check the likes when you get home ;))