Did you know that Mother Nature is the most inexpensive therapist you can see?
Going back to nature and spending time outdoors can help reduce stress and instill calm in your life. This doesn’t even have to mean a week-long camping trip without electricity or running water. Just five minutes a day outdoors can reduce your stress levels enough to allow you to manage your response to stressful stimuli. Here are just a few ideas for using the great outdoors to reduce your stress.
You may already have an established meditation practice. Try changing things up by meditating outdoors. 20 minutes in the sun, allowing the quiet sounds of nature to guide you, can have significant benefits.
Stop to smell the roses
This isn’t just a nice platitude about living life to the fullest. Literally stop to smell the flowers, see trees sway in the wind, listen to birds, or watch bees flit between flowers. Just being more mindful of your surroundings can help you leave your stress behind.
Start a garden
Get your hands dirty. Select plants or foods that bring you joy to grow. Wouldn’t it be amazing to make a healthy salad out of your own lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots? Enjoy beautiful annual or perennial flowers that make you smile any time you look out your window or walk in your yard.
Care for indoor plants
If you can’t get outside as much as you want, bring the outdoors in. Houseplants can help clean your air and can bring you joy when you care for them. Just like gardening, this is a soothing activity.
Volunteer in your community
Earth Day is April 22nd. Check with your local community to see if there are any events or volunteer activities you can participate in. Use this as a launching pad to spend more time outdoors and participate in your community.
How much time do you spend outdoors each week?
Image by Stephen Venuto via Flickr