Nature is a healing and restorative part of our world. It is a place to find solace, rest and rejuvenation. When we build our relationship with nature, it is generous in its ability to make us feel whole and bring us back to ourselves. We are nature, we are made up of all the elements we find in the natural world, we are intrinsically linked. However, in our modern, ever increasing speed of living, we can forget this. We can become disconnected from the natural environment and in turn, become separated from who we really are.
Consider how connecting with nature makes you feel, how it affects your personal wellbeing and importantly, your appreciation of the natural resources on earth. The following points will help you find ways to relate to nature everyday and take steps towards building your relationship with the environment around you. Journal on the following prompts, jot down your own ideas and plan these into your days.
What views of nature do you have in your home, work or on your commute/daily travels? How do these change each day/month/year? Are there ways you can increase your view or vantage point from indoors? How can you make time in your day to enjoy these?
Can you get outside to change your viewpoint? Do you have a favourite place to stand and look out from? What do you see, hear, smell, feel? How does this change during the day?
What has been the biggest horizon you have experienced? How did that make you feel?
What makes being outside more enjoyable for you? Consider this and include this the next time you are outdoors. This may be suitable clothing and a drink of some kind.
How often do you look up at the sky? Why is that?
Do you watch clouds during the day or star gaze at night? How does the sky change throughout your day, and how does this make you feel?
Are you familiar with any constellations in the night sky? This might be a great way of connecting with nature, learning something new and sharing the stories about these wonderful parts of our universe with family or friends.
Have you considered the effects of light pollution on our night sky, or chemical pollution in the day time? Are there ways in which you can help reduce this pollution in the choices you make day to day?
Mountains have a lot to teach us. What's the biggest mountain you've climbed? How did it make you feel? And would you do it again? Is there a hill or mountain you would love to climb? How could you make this happen?
Can you plan a hike, or shorter walk up a hill or mountain to increase your viewpoint of your surroundings? What would you need to do/plan/prepare for? This is a great way to learn about your local area and spend time with family or friends. It builds endurance and gets you moving in the fresh air.
What's stopping you from getting out into the hills or mountains? It has been shown that even watching nature on a screen can improve our wellbeing, and so it might be that you watch a documentary about mountains or read about the great explorers to get your outdoor fix.
Do you have a favourite tree? Where are the nearest trees to your home and do you know what species they are?
How does the season affect the trees near your home, on your daily commute or travels? How does the weather change the look and feel of the trees around you?
Have you ever been to an arboretum, woodland or forest? Is this something you would like to do or do more often? You could plan to visit a site and learn about the trees in that area, the history and stories they hold.
Trees bring all our senses alive and are good for our biochemistry. When you are next near a tree, run your fingers along its bark, look up through the canopy, listen to the sounds it makes, breath deep to catch the smell of leaves, wood and greenery.
Plant a tree in your garden or support a local charity that does. Knowing that you are adding to the lungs of the earth is a brilliant way of supporting our environment and making a difference to our planet.
You don't have to do all of these ideas or prompts, maybe choose the one that appeals to you the most or come up with your own. What is important is integration: bringing more of nature into our daily lives, learning about our natural world, embracing it and holding it with care and respect. As a result we will appreciate its relationship to and with us. We benefit, the planet benefits - it's a natural win win!
If you've loved this post, it is part of my new course HELLO YOU, 2022! on reconnecting with yourself this year. There are 3 other elements to the course - Being, Creativity and Belonging. To join the journey click the link below and spend an hour finding you.
I'd love to hear how you are going to get out into nature more. Pop your thoughts in the comments below or on my Instagram page @iamsarahalexcarter Let's explore the great outdoors!
Image via Unsplash