HOW TO CONNECT WITH NATURE AND
IMPROVE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THIS WINTER
This past year more than any other we’ve been reminded that access to outdoor private space is a privilege. We may not have much of a garden, but many of us have spent more time outdoors in nature and felt a greater sense of connection with the trees, plants and the natural world. We can do that indoors, too. Nurturing house plants can be very rewarding. Through the act of willing things to grow we are imagining that spring and summer will come and there will be renewal.
Here are a few tips on how you can nurture your mental health through nature.
– Reflect: Nature connects us in complex ways. Stopping to think about this connection is one way you can get in tune with the natural world around you,, Walk in your neighborhood or a local park. Think about the people who have walked there before you or reflect on someone you have walked this path with before.
– Nurture: Nurturing acts can include transforming pine-cones into bird feeders by squeezing fats and seeds into their spaces and hanging them where you can see them.
– Play: There is a sense of freedom along with a chance to relax and mentally unwind when you give yourself permission to play and disconnect. Move, organize, play a board game, have fun, get sweaty or muddy – or both! Be in the moment, allow wonder and childlike feelings and sensory experiences, colors and smells to fill your mind.
– Exercise: Winter exercise is important for maintaining physical and mental health and can improve your mood during long winter days.