In the downtown of an urban complex, it can be a challenge to connect with nature. With the everyday hustle-bustle of life, it only seems natural to get lost in the concrete jungle. But do you know that human connection with nature is critical for overall well-being? A disconnect from nature can have devastating consequences on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. When you live disconnected from nature, you only become more stressed and feel much more emotionally challenged.
So if connecting with nature is so critical, how can people who live in cities do so? After all, they are most isolated from nature’s ecosystems.
Here is the solution.
Connect with nature everywhere! Somehow, nature has found a way around us, even in the busiest urban setting. Look around, and you will find nature. Whether you look up at the sky or feel the ground beneath your feet, nature is every way. But while nature is always around you, as city-dwellers, you need to make a conscious effort to connect with it.
In this post, we share some of the best ways to connect with nature while living in a big city. So let’s get started.
#1. Feel What’s Beneath Your Feet
You are always detached from the ground beneath your feet, thanks to the thick rubber soles. So the next time you realize that you are walking on a surface, pause for a moment and feel what’s beneath your soles. Whether you are walking on concrete or in a garden, feel the surface’s firmness and the gravitational pull that holds you on. Only when you take a moment to pause and feel you will get an opportunity to connect with nature.
#2. Stare at the Sky
The sky is always there. If you are a morning person, look up to the sky and enjoy the sunrise, and if not, you can always take a moment to witness the mesmerizing sunset. But regardless of these two amazing views, the sky is always present. So whenever you intend to take a break from your work desk or your kitchen, glimpse through a window or sneak outdoor. Stare at the sky, the clouds, the sun, the stars, and the birds and ponder over their existence.
#3. Be More Aware of the Changing Weather
Weather is nature, and it’s always in a state of flux. As you become more aware of the changing weather, you can feel the air temperature, the intensity of the wind, and how it feels against your skin. You can feel the sunshine and how it affects your mood and productivity. And you will notice a lot more as you become more aware of the changing weather.
As challenging as it may seem, the best way to connect with nature is to unplug. Only when you are not distracted by the buzzing cellphone and endless notifications will you take some moments to be more aware of your surroundings. And as you become more mindful of what life without technology looks like, you delve in deep to find the true purpose of life inspired by nature around you.
#5. Focus on Your Breathing
Regardless of where you are and what you do, you always breathe. And what could be a better reflection of nature than the human body? If you are looking for ways to connect with nature, notice how you breathe effortlessly. Think of how it just happens. Breathing is the single, most influential natural force that keeps us going, and we don’t even realize it. Only when you take out a few moments to pause and focus on your breathing, you realize its significance.
#6. Look Around for Life
Another great way to connect with nature is to look around and find signs for life. Even when you live in a big city, you can find life all around, whether your colleague at work, your pet at home, or your favorite plant in your backyard. And that’s not just it. Look for life in the form of spiders hanging from your ceiling or the plants that grow in between cracks and the mold and moss on walls. All of these are subtle signs of life around you.
#7. Visit the Local Zoo or Botanical Garden
Are you looking for more obvious ways to connect with nature? Plan a visit to the zoo or a botanical garden over the weekend. Learn more about the unique species of birds, animals, and plants, and give yourself a break from the busy urban life. Most of you may think of a zoo visit as an activity that you should do with kids, but that’s not always true. It’s a unique way of connecting with nature that gives a break from busy city life while having therapeutic effects.
#8. Befriend a Tree
You can easily find a tree in most cities. And they can be a great company. Choose one tree that you see on your way to work every day and befriend it. Meet your new friend with all your senses. Feel the texture, observe the smell, the colors, and sights and sounds of your tree. Over time, you will realize how it is growing and changing its shape and telling you a story about its life. Only when you listen intently, will you learn to enjoy your new friend’s company.
#9. Grow Your Container Garden
If space is a limitation and you are more inclined to gardening, you can grow your container garden as a way to connect with nature. Your container garden can flourish right next to your kitchen window or staircase of your apartment, so why not grow a few plants at home.
#10. Volunteer At Local Nature Conservation Organizations
If you are looking for opportunities to connect with nature that require more active participation, it’s best to volunteer at a local nature conservation organization. Find an organization that aligns with your personal mission, and get involved. If time is a constraint, you can always donate and support the cause.
Urban living comes with its unique challenges, and perhaps one of the worst aspects of city life is a disconnect from nature. Fortunately, nature always finds its way everywhere. All you have to do is to make a conscious effort to connect with it.