Spending time in nature is scientifically proven to be beneficial to our overall health and well-being. Nature provides us with a sense of calm, reduces our stress levels, improves our focus, and promotes creativity. Listening, feeling, and experiencing nature is an invaluable resource, especially during the current global health crisis.
But what if you can’t get outside? What if you don’t have a backyard? What if a walk around the neighborhood just doesn’t scratch the nature itch?
There are still plenty of ways you can stay connected with the outdoors and reap the many mental health benefits of our natural environments while staying at home.
Experience Nature Virtually
The world’s leading travel media brand AFAR says you can “lace up your virtual hiking boots and get your national park fix online.” Both Google Arts & Culture and Google Earth offer free, immersive, guided tours of national parks, seashores, monuments, and historic sites; and you can surround yourself with soundscapes from the National Park Service’s Sound Library.
To see what other virtual experiences you can enjoy, click here.
Bring Outdoor Activities Indoors
For some quality indoor-adventure inspiration and dosage of good laughs, follow public figure Briana Venskus @houseofvenskus on the ‘gram, or check out her Quarantine Diaries YouTube Channel. See our favorite here.
Or, this weekend escape to the living room for a picnic.
- Step 1: Clear a space to lay a blanket down. Picnic blanket, bed sheet, anything will do!
- Step 2: Set the scene with some pillows, indoor plants, and lighting. If you’re feeling saucy, turn on the fireplace or use this handy digital fireplace on a 10hr loop.
- Step 3: Present a smorgasbord of food and drinks.
- Step 4: If you’re picnicking at night, download a stargazing app and look up at the stars, I mean the ceiling…
- Step 5: Enjoy.
Nature-fy your space
Houseplants are more than an object of décor, they’re a necessity. Houseplants provide a type of horticulture therapy and can help you feel more at ease during these uncertain times. To learn more on how houseplants can be beneficial to you and your health, read Treehugger’s 5 Health Benefits of Houseplants. If you are able to purchase houseplants from your local grocer or Amazon.com, do so!
Bring Your Outdoor Exercises Inside (or into the Backyard)
You don’t need outdoor hiking trails to keep active. To stay on top of your fitness routine, you only need yourself and maybe a yoga mat, a set of stairs, or some equipment around the house. For fun and creative workouts check out #GetOutsideInside on Twitter. People have been getting pretty creative these days.
If you still yearn to get outside, visit Outdoor Industry Association’s resource guide on how to do so safely and responsibly. For other helpful tips, read Outdoor Alliance’s How to Get Outside (During a Pandemic) article.
Written by Jessica Noyes - Communications Coordinator, WMA