According to a recent study, more than 50% of people reside in urban areas, with an expected 20% increase by 2050. Assuming the majority of them don’t have access to a natural window view, these findings suggest a large number of people aren’t being exposed to the “nature experience” that greatly influences rumination –“repetitive thought focused on negative aspects of self”. And, since urbanization has –without reason– been linked with increased levels of mental illness , it’s important we find ways to connect with nature where possible.
Bring nature indoors. Flowers and plants tend to be given during special occasions, but when was the last time you purchased something with greenery just because? Placing plants throughout your home, or even in your favorite nook, is a great way to incorporate nature in your everyday life. If you don’t know where to begin, you can search Google for “indoor garden ideas“, or order a wall garden like this one sold by Mkono.
Set reminders. Another reminder may be the very last thing you need, but it’s one you’ll love setting! Set a reminder to walk for at least 15 minutes, 3 times each day. If possible, take this walk in a space with trees, grass, and maybe even some flowers. Once you get into the habit of going for these 15 minutes walks throughout the day, you’ll no longer need the reminder because you’ll have grown accustomed to it. Not only are walks good for your mental health, but they’re great for your overall physical health as well. Win-Win!
Make it a family thing. Get your kids excited about going outside by volunteering to play soccer, ride bikes, go for a walk, or even get crafty with them! If you aren’t sure where to begin, try playing with Play-Doh outside. Not only will you save yourself the indoor mess (because we all know how messy PlayDoh can be), it’s also a great way to nurture your children’s imagination. You’ll be amazed by what your fun and creative pieces your kids make with their PlayDoh, and will love the feeling of relaxation that pours over you. Just remember to use sunscreen.
Incorporate nature into your self-care practice. We can’t stress the importance of self-care enough, especially for those of us who manage to balance the demands of motherhood with every other responsibility we have! Finding ways to incorporate nature into your self-care routine can be as simple as making the decision to use natural soaps as opposed to the artificially scented soaps you see at the grocery store *ahem, Target* or mall. Take a look at our post on the Importance of Self-Care and find the practice(s) that work for you!