We all make the same excuses for why we can’t spend as much time outside as we’d probably like to. After all, we have to work, clean, commute, and take care of all our daily tasks — leaving little time in between for us to simply get out and enjoy nature.
The truth is that what we’re really doing is prioritizing everything else over our connection to nature. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with prioritizing things like work or family above anything else, but it’s important to be aware that this is what we’re doing when we catch ourselves falling into the “not enough time for it” excuse trap.
Those of us who want to make our connection to nature a bigger priority can do so by combining some of the things we already do (or want to do) with outdoor activity. Here are just a few easy ideas to get you started.
1. Practice yoga and meditation in an outdoor environment.
There’s perhaps no greater way to enjoy the great outdoors as a yogi than by rolling out your mat in your own backyard or by taking your meditation practice to a bench in a nearby park. Your senses will be in for a real treat as they pick up all the sights, sounds, smells, feelings, and perhaps even tastes all around you.
2. Take your meals outside.
Unless it’s raining cats and dogs, there’s always an opportunity to get outside during breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snack time. Ask to sit on the patio at a restaurant, host a barbecue, have lunch at a picnic table in the park, or even sit on the stairs leading up to your front door while you eat.
3. Read or work under the shade of a tree.
Nature is a wonderful source of inspiration and creativity, so any activity that takes a higher level of mental focus can be enhanced by spending more time in any green space. Take your laptop, study material, or books out under a tree or to a shaded picnic table for a nice switch up from your regular indoor work environment.
4. Swap your regular commute for walking or cycling.
If you don’t have a long way to go from point A to point B, why not walk or cycle your way there? Yes, it does take some extra time compared to commuting by car or transit, but that extra activity mean you can shave off some of the time you might need to spend in the gym or on the mat.
5. Take up gardening.
You don’t need a green thumb to be a successful gardener. Planting a single pot of flowers, herbs, or veggies even just right outside your door on your front or back porch can encourage you to spend more time outside than you regularly would.
6. Trade your Netflix subscription for a sunset stroll.
Of course it’s tempting to plop down on the couch after a long day and turn on the TV, but no show or movie compares to the spectacle of light and color that the sun puts on every evening. Weather conditions may not always be ideal for it, but when they are, you should definitely grab a friend or loved one and head out to catch the sun as it says farewell for the day.
7. Find a new outdoor hobby.
Any outdoor hobby or activity that you absolutely love doing will naturally encourage you to get out more often. Whether you decide to take up a completely new sport like kayaking or look to pick up an old hobby from your past like nature photography, embracing any interest that can be done outdoors is a great way to reconnect with yourself and Mother Nature at the same time.