Where can you find that extra 5 minutes for nature?

Green View for Lowering Stress Vitamin N Get Outside
-- Look up for A View of Green! --

So you know nature is good for you and you wish you had the time but your life is just so incredibly busy and you just don't know how to fit it in.  Isn't nature something that you really only can immerse yourself in on the weekends?  How could you benefit from a short walk or getting out to sit in a park at lunch?  Is it really worth it, with all the other things that we have to do each and every day?

This spring I read a statistic that really didn't surprise me but it did give me pause:
"According to research by the Harvard School of Public Health, American adults spend less time outdoors than they do inside vehicles—less than 5 percent of their day." (Link)

I know that part of what is helping me get out more is choosing a slower lifestyle along with simplifying my life as much as I can.  Easy to say but hard to implement yes?  It's a slow process of elimination but each item I eliminate, opens up space for other things (and they don't have to be "things"!).  The less chores and "taking care of things" I find that I have to do, means that there is more time for other "stuff" - but not stuff.  I choose to fill this extra time with outings into nature.  Yes, I still struggle at getting away from my desk during the day and motivating myself to get up off the couch in the evenings. But there is change and it's change in the right direction!  That first step can be the hardest.

Urban Nature View Enjoy Five Minutes Outdoors
-- Park Bench With a Great View --

There are always ways to add a bit of nature into our already busy life, if we can just pause for a few moments and take in what opportunities are available to us.  I truly am a believer in regards to whatever we focus on expands.  And it can start with just one minute.
  • What about first thing in the morning?  Can you step outdoors and take a few deep breaths in your backyard?
  • Or how about when you are leaving your house?  Pause as you are going out - make time to water some potted plants or take in all the colours with your eyes or if you are with someone ask them what they like seeing.
  • Is there a way to fit in a few minutes when you are walking to work, or from your car to the building, or while you are doing errands?  Taking a longer way to walk, perhaps under a few trees or just looking up and really observing the sky and clouds.
  • What about at lunch time?  If you can't get out, can you at least find somewhere to sit by a window or at least turn off your screen and look outside?
  • What about on your drive home?  Do you drive by a park that you wish you could just stop at?  How about stopping - even if it's to sit in the parking lot for five minutes?
  • Could there be another route you could take in your car or even on your bike?  Something that is not too far out of your way along a tree-lined street or that winds along a river?
  • Or even walking from the bus-stop home - is there an opportunity to observe some birds, stop under a tree or just take in a vista by slowing down and or even stopping?
Spring Goslings Urban Wildlife River Sighting
-- Spring Goslings Seen From Riverbank --

When you are outside, ask yourself some questions to really understand what being outside means to you and why it feels good.  The more you tune into why it feels good, you can reconnect with this to help encourage yourself to get back out next time.

Don't try to fit in nature every day, right away.  See if you can schedule it in once a week and then bump it up more regularly when it gets easier.  Keep in mind, however that you don't want it to become just another thing on your to do list.  You don't want "seeking out nature" to stress you out!

Once you start doing this,  you might be surprised at how many small pockets of nature connection you already do enjoy - by just paying attention.  See if you can ease into it with spontaneity and a sense of fun.  If you forget to do it - be ok with it, let it slide, be the observer and/or be curious - why didn't it happen?  What got in the way?  What attitude or belief prioritized something else over your own need to connect to nature?

If this is something that resonates with you, 
start by asking yourself:

 Where can I find five minutes, or ten just to be out in nature?  

Let yourself be the guide!

Forest Walk Large Trees End of Day Relaxation
-- Two Minutes from Parking Lot - Breathe in Deeply! --

And if a spontaneous, easy going change just doesn't work for you, here are a few ideas to give you a bit of extra motivation:

- Commit in advance by meeting up with a friend
- Take a challenge (like the 30 x 30 challenge)
- Do something outdoors that you normally do indoors

Good Luck in Wilding!  

Rideau River Biophilic City View of City Hall

Every Minute in Nature Counts!

P.S. You may also like:

Treat Yourself the Wild Way! (June 2016)

How Did you Connect to Nature today? (May 2016)

How to Tune into Your Personal Connection with Nature (December 2016)

No comments:

Post a Comment