CHANGE FOR NATURE: RE-WILD YOUR LIFE
The outdoors is our natural habitat. Let’s start living like it.
Between work, commutes, household tasks and the hours we spend sleeping, the average person is outdoors for only seven percent of each day. Factor in hours of screen time, and it’s no surprise that so many of us are feeling the effects of being disconnected from nature.
It’s been proven that people are generally happier and healthier after they’ve reconnected with nature—one study shows that it just take 120 minutes of outdoor time each week to feel noticeable benefits to your health and wellbeing. If you’re ready to make a change and put yourself back in touch with the outdoors, here’s how to get started.
Build It In
Set a timer during your work day for an interval that’s doable for you, then take a five-minute walk outside when the timer goes off. (This counts even if you work in the heart of a city.)
One clever way to get more outdoors time is to relocate your workout. If you typically exercise at home or at a gym, try taking it outside—you can run or bike through leafy neighborhoods, take your HIIT workout to a nature trail, or practice yoga in the nearest park. People who exercise outside are likely to work out longer, too!
A Little Means A Lot
You don’t need acres of land or a parkside address to bring nature into your life. Pot some plants on a windowsill, seek out some green space near work, or walk your dog along new routes with more greenery. Make sure to actually focus on fixing your eyes on nature—it might seem strange to say, but once you do it, you’ll get it.
See It, Share It
The iNaturalist app turned getting outside into a community sport. While you’re getting your daily outside time, take a picture of something from nature—a plant, an insect, a bird—and upload it to the app. Other users in your community will help you identify what it is, and you’ll be helping to track populations of native species in your area.
Sometimes the best way to get outdoors is on two feet—other times, it’s on two wheels. Maybe you live close enough to work to bike there instead of driving (bonus: you’ll get a built-in workout), or maybe you can skip the car and bike to your weekend farmers market. Or, channel your inner kiddo and bike around for fun! You’ll cover lots of ground and see way more nature than you’d be able to get to on foot.
Plant, Tend, Grow
Starting a garden is most hands-on way to stay regularly connected with nature. Plant things that are native to where you live, and watch how they change season to season. If you have land for your garden, consider planting pollinator plants to give local insects a habitat. If you’re apartment-dwelling, max out every windowsill and shelf with something leafy or flowering. (And maybe, just maybe, see if the super will give you roof access.)
For all the benefits that re-wilding your life can have for you mentally and physically, it can also connect you with nature in a way that makes you want to do more to help protect our biodiversity, environments and ecosystems. If they don’t survive, there won’t be a nature for any of us to enjoy. If you’re looking for even more ways to change for nature, we have a few ideas.