Have you heard the term Nature Deficit Disorder before?
Coined in 2005 by Richard Louv, Nature Deficit Disorder described the effects of a lack of access or contact with Nature on people, and particularly children.
Research since then has identified connections between time in Nature and improved problem-solving skills, self-esteem, mental health, and motivation.
All great reasons for us to reconnect with Mother Nature! And the good news is that doing so is as easy as walking out your front door.
Here are 5 easy, creative ways for you to consider in your quest to reconnect with Nature.
1. Garden & Grow
Can you tend to a plant, edible or otherwise? A veggie garden, flowers in the front yard, even a fuss-free Money Tree houseplant are all awesome. I especially love growing sprouts or microgreens throughout winter!
To find out how to grow and cook with fresh greens for *super cheap*, check out my tutorial on growing fresh sprouts.
2. Meet a Tree
- Do you have trees near your home or on your property?
- Can you spend some time ID-ing one of your favourites and learning more about it?
- Does it have any interesting historical or cultural symbolism?
3. Nature Scavenger Hunt
If you have kids, perhaps you can download free Nature-inspired Bingo cards and go on a scavenger hunt? I expect fun for the whole family!
4. Nature Art
Using found materials, create a piece of art. Process art gives us the freedom to unleash our creativity, without being as concerned about the final outcome, or finished art. Draw, paint, sculpt, or even arrange items found in nature.
Check out this flower mandala I made last summer… (I had high hopes but the grass was long overdue for a trim!)
You might even consider a larger project like making a labyrinth. This is a fun project in winter because snow is easy to work with and forgiving (also temporary)!
You can do the same with fall leaves if you have enough of them… then they can join the compost bin and you can add them to your gardens next spring!
Walking a labyrinth can be a moving meditation for personal growth and self-healing. You can connect with your intuition in a gentle, loving, relaxed way.
You can make your labyrinth experience even more meaningful by holding an intention, a goal, a wish, a prayer, or a mantra in mind as you journey. Although simple in nature, the results of the labyrinth voyage can be profound.
Here’s a lovely labyrinth in Saguaro National Park outside Tucson, Arizona that I walked at 6+ months pregnant. It was planted in the most serene desert setting at Sanctuary Cove, where I stayed to complete my flower essence training program. It was a drive into town but I appreciated the respite!
Each step toward the centre effectively brings you closer to your desired intention or wish!
5. Bird Watching
Can you buy or build a birdhouse, fill it with seed, and identify one or more of the birds that visit? What’s one quality that makes that bird special?
Nature does wonders to help our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual selves recover, recharge and rejuvenate.
I’m a big believer that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. So take advantage of the tail end of winter to get outside, especially on sunny days, which feel like the biggest gift!
This week, think about where and when you can spend more time in nature. Then go out and enjoy it!
Life is a plate… Eat up!