Your First Step into Enjoying more Nature Connection


You've probably heard that getting outdoors and enjoying nature is good for you - that it will benefit you in many ways.  But it's that gap between knowing it and actually doing it where many people stumble.  If getting outside and enjoying nature can be a free outing (which means that the cost is not stopping people) and if nature is close by - whether it's a nearby park, a bike path or a tree-lined street (which means that access is not the issue) then what is stopping so many people?  Without these two obstacles, why are so many people still not getting out weekly and/or appreciating even the smaller touches of nature daily?

Some people just don't know what they really like to do outdoors - something that would draw them out regularly.  They may just think: I don't want to go to my local park, I don't like sitting on a park bench and I really don't want to be a walker.

It can be difficult to figure out what type of nature/outdoor activities would help facilitate a more regular outdoor routine but if you are curious, take a look at the questions below to take your FIRST STEP towards establishing a more consistent nature connection.

Here are some things to ask yourself so that you can start identifying the most enjoyable nature fixes for you:

Do you enjoy ACTIVE or PASSIVE activities?

Are you more of an athletic person or someone who likes more leisure activities?  Perhaps you like a mixture of both?  Both types of activities can be enjoyed outdoors, whether it is jogging, snowshoeing or being active on water (to name a few active options) or whether it is reading a book, listening to a podcast or enjoying a leisurely stroll.

Should nature be more of a BACKDROP for your activities or do you want it FRONT and CENTRE?

Nature can be a backdrop, when you take whatever you love to do and do it outdoors.  So think of reading outdoors, picnic outdoors, running outdoors or other indoor activities that you can easily switch up by bringing them outside. But if nature itself is of interest, whether animate or even inanimate, flora or fauna or even weather patterns, choose activities where it becomes your focus, the foreground if you will.  You'll want to know more about your surroundings, you will want to identify nature or at least get more personal with it - perhaps even name a favourite tree or it could mean that you want to use it to express an artistic side like sketching or painting.

Do you appreciate a SCIENTIFIC or more CREATIVE approach to things?

If you are scientific then you can enjoy a myriad of opportunities to help in studies, research and field observations - some local and some national and even international.  Field studies are a great option to get you outdoors - some can even be done as a nature or wildlife volunteer for a local organization.  On the other hand, if you want to nurture your more creative side, you can paint, sketch, take photographs and/or do anything creative outside (dancing, theatre, writing).  Nature for creatives can be a relaxing backdrop, the focus of your creativity or a refreshing space that inspires new ideas.

Are you CURIOUS or a DREAMER?

If you are curious and inquisitive, you might find yourself outdoors with identification books, learning about specific flora and fauna or wondering about the patterns and behaviours of what you are seeing.  Learning can compliment your outdoor exploration and it can also be done outdoors wherever you find yourself.  If you are more of a dreamer, you may find natural spaces encourage this contemplative side of yourself.  You may not want to do anything outside other than wander, let your eyes meander and take in sites and just allow yourself to be guided by intuition and the freedom of movement.  Nature can nurture your need to seek beauty (perhaps you'd like to be a sunset seeker?), inspire your natural expression to channel into art pieces,  or you can just lie back and watch the clouds go by.



Do GOALS or LISTS motivate you or are you more a SEEKER and ADVENTURER?

Birding is one of the top outdoor hobbies for achieving "life" goals and adding to a checklist of "birds seen".  Not only can rare birds become intensely sought out "lifers" but the motivation to see certain birds can encourage many to get outdoors when nothing else can.  But if birding isn't your thing, there are other goal-oriented nature activities you can enjoy including creating your own checklist of "Kayaking every river and lake" or "Visiting every park" or completing a series of activities - perhaps a monthly orienteering exercise or a summer trail running series.  It could start as a 100 day project or it could be an endurance activity that requires regular training.  Or if lists and goal oriented activities don't inspire you, an immersive experience where you explore the wilder parts around the city and discover spaces and scenery that are not known to the majority of urban dwellers could be your thing!  You may be surprised with some of your discoveries that are just out of sight of the regular routes you take on a car or bike - hidden in quieter spots and you may also enjoy more encounters with wildlife in green spaces and see unique flora that doesn't appear in your local park.

Are you SOCIAL or more of an INTROVERT?

Depending on whether you are an extrovert or introvert, you may be interacting with nature differently, or at least choose to do different activities depending on your energy levels.  The good news is there are various types of social activities that might be better suited to specific social interests.  I wrote a blog post about outdoor options for both introverts and extroverts - suggesting specific outings that might suit each type of personality better - some that are more quiet and contemplative and some that involve big groups and more socializing.



So what do you think?

Do these questions help identify some possible options for you?

Have you thought of how your nature outings can suit your personality before?



By asking these questions, hopefully this can allow you to explore a variety of opportunities to connect with nature, some more immersive then others, but all providing that Vitamin N that adds so much to our well being.  And if you find something that you really love doing - that will ensure that you get out more and increase your time outdoors!


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