After months of being cooped up indoors, the ease of quarantine restrictions and summer weather couldn’t come at a better time. You probably feel the urge to disconnect from the digital world and run barefoot through the hills — 'Sound of Music' style. It's a beautiful way to let go of any winter gloom and experience a boost to your mental and physical well-being.
After all, nature epitomizes slow living. Everything moves and grows in its own time. It reconnects us to the bigger picture and hits pause on our crazy auto-pilot lifestyles. Half the time we can’t remember starting the car, let alone driving it home. When we’re mentally charged all the time, settling down physically can be difficult. But that doesn’t mean you have to go full out forest bathing to reap the benefits.
Here are some easy ways to add a quick shot of nature to your daily routine:
Spend Time Outdoors:
Dip your toes in water, take a stroll along the lake, grab a book and read in the park, watch a sunset or a sunrise, full on hug a tree — we won’t judge! Being in nature is a beautiful reminder of the simple joys and small moments that bring us happiness. It broadens our perspective on the world as well. All of a sudden those stresses and worries you had can seem much more manageable. Try spending an hour immersed in nature and see how energized and rejuvenated you feel.
Eat Fresh Fruit and Veggies:
Sometimes we forget that we need nature to live, breathe and thrive. Fresh fruit and veggies are delicious and always there to connect you to nature in the most real way. Every apple, peach and spice is a product of the precious biodiversity that makes up ingredients for tasty recipes. Check out a farmer’s market or shop from local growers to give back and support those caring for the environment.
Use Natural Products:
From lemon water to the healing power of turmeric, to putting coconut oil on, well, everything, nature is filled with natural properties and antioxidants that are wonderful for you and smell delicious too. What you put on your skin and bring into your home is your choice, and luckily there is an amazing community of small businesses who respect and honour nature with their products. Choosing clean beauty products or a simple lemon and vinegar cleaning solution is a chance to connect with nature and bring it nearer to you as you go about your day.
Gardening or Caring for Plants
More than just their appealing jungle aesthetic, plants are a process that requires patience. Learning to go with the ebb and flow and patiently ride the waves has been one of the harder slow living struggles for me. And while I still struggle to focus on one task at a time, with plant care you cannot. It’s not possible to rush the care of your plants and flowers without jeopardizing the process. Sometimes, it’s taking your time learning the right ways to care for each individual type of plant you have. All movements of slow, deliberate actions. Plants are in no rush to grow up. They will take their time growing stable roots and strong stems.
Incorporating these little changes will not only be beneficial now, but will hopefully allow you to embrace the seasonal shift and the wonder each season has to offer. Winter isn’t THAT bad is it? Well, it’s a learned process at least.