By Sandra Nelson
This article was originally published December 2018.
I have been feeling incredibly stressed lately. Unfortunately, when I am stressed, I just shut down which, of course, increases my stress level and renders me virtually useless. My “To Do” list gets longer and my “Done” list stays blank.The only way I can interrupt this cycle is to take a nature break.
Taking care of three extremely active toddlers severely limits where I can go and what I can do during the day. By the time they leave in the evening, I am too exhausted to go anywhere or do anything requiring much of a thought process. On top of that, our weather hasn’t been conducive to outdoor adventures — either it’s a snowstorm or it’s simply too cold to be outside!
Luckily for those of us who are somewhat house-bound, there are ways to interact with nature without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Here are a few of the ways I get my healthy dose of nature when I can’t make that trek into the woods or even the backyard. They make a difference in my life; I hope they will for you too.
13 Ways to Take a Nature Break
- Plant an indoor herb garden on the kitchen windowsill. Not only do you have fresh herbs all winter for cooking, you can enjoy the fragrances too.
- Decorate with winter blooming plants like cyclamens and guppy plants instead of knicknacks. Blooming plants will reward you with bright spots of color reminiscent of your summer gardens.
- Hang a transparent window bird feeder. Within days, your feathered friends will be casually dining there – usually without visits from those pesky squirrels.
- Feed the birds homemade suet cakes. By varying the add-ins, you can create specialty varieties that will attract many new and different kinds of birds.
- Open the curtains and window shades to let in as much natural light as possible. Natural light is known to help counter seasonal depression.
- Add a green wall or a small potted tree to a frequently used room. Trees and green plants contribute to clean, healthy air.
- Install a tabletop fountain. The sound of moving water is soothing to the soul.
- Find a spot for a fish tank. Watching them swim can be mesmerizing.
- Use naturally occurring scents like lavender, mints, chamomile and cedars in diffusers and candles. Scent is the strongest of the senses and natural scents invoke a sense of well-being.
- Include natural fabrics and colors from nature in your decorating. They project calmness and serenity.
- Hang nature themed artwork. A collection of images of familiar and beloved places will carry you back each time you view them.
- Take five minutes out of your day to just breathe and look out of the window. A view of the trees or even the sky helps to refresh your anxious spirit.
- Create a terrarium with or without animals.Whether it’s a jungle or a desert, it will give you a taste of the outdoors.