Recently, I have been feeling a strong pull towards connecting more with nature; to come out of hiding, to seek freedom, to feel grounded and alive. It has been something that, admittedly, I had been neglecting for a long time. Particularly living in the inner city has meant that I often swapped outdoor activities in exchange for long chats at cafes and the like.
In the last few months however, I have felt completely refreshed when I spend a weekend out of the city and head for the hills!
I am starting to crave the freedom. I am starting to find a new awareness of the environment around me. I am starting to feel the uplifting impact it has on my soul. And I am revelling in this space.
This has lead me to incorporate more opportunities to connect with nature. Today, I am sharing with you 12 interesting ways that I connect with nature.
Here are 12 Ways To Connect With Nature
Feel the earth beneath you
Grounding activities such as yoga (maybe select a thinner mat), running or hiking are great for helping us connect back to the earth! We are often separated from the ground we walk on, with every path we tread paved in cement, concrete or carpet. Rebalance this by spending a little time each day with your feet on the earth, sinking into the grass, or leaving behind footprints along a beach.
Go the scientific route
When going to and from work, running errands or doing your everyday chores, snap yourself out of autopilot and take a more scenic route. One of the things I love about staying at my partner's eco house in the hills is that the drive to work is absolutely invigorating - I drive past the ferntree forrests, running creeks and farmsteads. And even though it takes me twice as long to commute to work, I feel on top of the world when I arrive.
Create from nature
I created the piece (pictured above) on my walk along the beach out of shells and coral that had washed up along the shore line. Even though it wasn't something I could keep, I loved the process of foraging and it made me so much more appreciative of the things we can find in nature.
Also, check out the below video of artist, Belinda Evans and her creative process. She is a Melbourne based artist who handmakes beautiful pieces all inspired and made from nature!
Have outdoor playdates
So many activities, meet ups and playdates seem to take place in restaurants, bars, cafes, movie theatres, yoga studios,shopping centres etc. However, let's flip this around and start suggesting activities where you meet your friends outdoors instead. Opt for picnics, walks in the park, berry picking and even camping trips.
Incorporate nature into your travels
One of my favourite places to travel to is Japan. This place just displays a stunning balance between nature and the sprawling neon cities. For those that love the intense, swelling energy of buzzing cities, balance this by spend a few days retreating to a tiny cabin in the woods or even swinging up high from a tree house!
Start a natural medicine cabinet
I am in the slowly decluttering my home of manmade medicinal products. Incorporate oils like lavender (to help me sleep), clove, calendula (to heal my skin), tea tree (for my acne) and coconut oil (so many uses) into your medicinal stash.
Bring the outdoors inside
We have been busy decorating our home with lots of hardy succulents. It cleanses the energy of our homes and filters the air we breathe.
Align your day to the sun
Inspired by Ayuverdic dinacharya (daily routines) this is a bit of an experiment for me - but its a beautiful one! Dinacharya is a daily routine that respects your Ayuverdic dosha. To start, begin your night ritual or routine when the sun sets and rise with the sun. Generations before us would have called it a day after sunset and their body clocks would have been much more aligned to the sun and the moon than ours are.
By surrounding ourselves with computers, mobile phones etc, our natural body clocks are misaligned which makes it more difficult for us to wind down each night. The additional challenge for this experiment is to spend one night without switching the lights on in the house after sunset, allowing your body to truly adjust to the night .
Nourish with whole foods
Of course food is such an important part of connecting with nature. Spend some time at a farmers market and explore the produce on offer and add one new vegetable or fruit into your basket each week that you have never cooked with before.
If you are fortunate enough to have some space at home, why not grow your vegetables and herbs too? There is nothing more rewarding than cooking with fresh organic ingredients that you have taken the time and love to grow yourself. Even in the smallest of apartment balconies, we have been growing rosemary, mint, dill, chives, sage, thyme and super red hot chillies. Don't have space at home? Research community gardens around your area instead.
The moon and its rythms
Lately I have been fascinated about how the natural cycle of the moon can really affect our moods and emotions. I love this ebook by the Daily Guru on the various phases of the moon and its powerful energy. Release the old at the full moon and create intentions for the new moon.
Take a walk and soak it all in
It only takes 10 minutes out of your day and can be quite a meditative experience. Enjoy the freedom of exploring, adventuring, meandering and wandering without the rush to get from A to B. Really experience the environment you are in; notice the patterns on the bark of a tree, follow the Fibonacci sequence on a pine cone, smell the flowers, and soak it all in!
Start a vegetable patch or grow some herbs
Gardening is incredibly healing and grounding for our base chakra and it allows us to connect deeply with nature by through observing how plants are nurtured and grow with the environment they are in. The beauty of slowing down, moving with what feels natural is such a poignant lesson that we can learn from watching seeds sprout into a plant.
And to summarise it all, I made a printable list that you can download or pin to your Pinterest board as a little reminder of the things you can do to connect with nature!