Connecting with Nature This Spring

As spring begins, it feels like the perfect time to restart after what has been such a draining year for all of us. Although most people view New Year’s as a time to focus on new goals and self–improvement, it can be extremely difficult to do so during the winter months because of seasonal depression or just common downturns in mental health. Personally, I think the start of spring is the perfect time to focus on recharging and growing since that’s when the Earth is doing the exact same thing! It’s almost as if the Earth is inviting us to start fresh with it.

Research shows that spending time in nature can greatly benefit our mental well–being. Specifically, being outside can increase happiness as well as reduce stress and other negative emotions. 

Here are three ways to strengthen your relationship with nature this spring. Although some of these ideas may seem obvious, I hope you gain new insight to their benefits as well as how to get the most out of them! 

  1. 1. Bring nature inside

    Whether or not you consider yourself to be a “plant person,” this is the perfect time to either buy a plant or plant one yourself. Having plants inside your house can have the same effect as spending time outside in nature, which can both improve your mood and reduce stress. 

    However, what I find most special about plants is that they’re all associated with different meanings and properties! Before you get a plant of your own, it’s extremely beneficial to research which ones correlate with your goals this spring, whether they’re geared toward growth, emotional healing, or inspiration. 

    In this way, you can not only increase your overall mental health, but also intentionally engage with your personal goals — which can act as further motivation to better those areas of your life!

  2. 2. Take intentional walks

    As the weather gets nicer, most of us spend more time outdoors. However, this time is rarely intentionally spent focusing on our relationship with nature and its ability to heal. I personally love to take walks during the spring, but this year I want to make an effort to focus my energy differently during said walks. If you refocus and ground yourself when you spend time outdoors, the positive impacts will be greater than when you take a walk mindlessly.

    One of the best ways to connect with nature during a walk is to focus on the energy of the Earth around you by paying close attention to the sensations of the air and the natural sounds, such as from birds or the wind. Additionally, you should avoid ruminating on any worries that may be weighing on you. 

    Not only can these types of walks allow you to gain a deeper appreciation for nature and decrease your stress levels, but they can also allow you to view places — even your own neighborhood — in ways you never have before!

  3. 3. Spend alone time outside

    Just as taking walks intentionally can increase their impact, the same can be said for spending any sort of time outside. 

    One of the best ways to create a deeper connection with nature is to find a spot outside where you can be alone — whether it be at a local park or even just your backyard. Try to find somewhere more secluded so that your time isn’t interrupted, and create a pleasant space with a blanket or some music! 

    What you do after that is a personal decision, but some of my recommendations are to meditate, keep a nature journal where you can write about the things you notice and how they make you feel, or create artwork. Any of these activities can create a sense of mindfulness, take you away from your everyday routines and worries, and allow you to focus on the beautiful and positive aspects of your life.

I hope you try to incorporate some of these ideas into your life this spring and that they strengthen your relationships with yourself and with nature as you focus on recharging and self–improvement! Happy spring!