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Connect with Nature Everyday

There are several simple yet effective ways for city dwellers to connect with nature every day, even amidst the urban jungle.

City Dwellers

It’s common for people to think it’s impossible to connect with nature when living in the city. Although urban life often means being surrounded by concrete, traffic, and the hustle of busy crowds, finding ways to connect with nature daily is essential for maintaining our mental and physical well-being. As someone passionate about integrating natural experiences into everyday life, I’ve listed here several simple yet effective ways for anyone, city dwellers included, to connect with nature every day, even amidst the urban jungle.

4 Elements

A simple way to think about connecting with nature is by breaking it down into the 4 elements – air, water, fire, and earth. Because nature is everywhere, it just takes mindfulness to connect.

  • AirBreathing intentionally is the simplest and most affordable way to connect with nature. Dr. Andrew Weil and a big body of research have attested that breathing is also how we connect with the energetical and spiritual world – a very important part of nature. Breathing exercises can provide numerous mental and physical health benefits and yet at no cost. Being aware of how oxygen is essential for cellular function and how powerful the wind is, is another way of connecting with this element.
  • Water – is the second most important of nature’s elements; The elixir responsible for all the magic that happens inside our bodies. Without water, there is no blood, no sweat, no gastric fluid, and no transport of nutrients or oxygen. Besides having the power to give us energy and nourishment, water can also relax, wash away our worries, and revitalize our souls. Connecting with this element goes from drinking water to immersing in it. 
  • Fire – Ancient people used to worship fire and sit by it every night. Fire represents not only the pure form of energy but also transformation and renewal. It has the power to calm our nervous system and inspire creativity. A simple way to connect with this element is by watching the sunrise or sunset – yes, the sun is a big ball of fire! Another simple way is by lighting a candle or a bonfire. The use of fire for cooking is proof of its transformational power and yet, another way to connect with this element.
  • Earth – From all the numerous ways to connect with Earth, grounding is the easiest of all – stepping barefoot on grass, sand, or dirt. Acknowledging that we’re all connected to the same soil that provides nourishment and shelter for all living species is another meaningful way to connect with this element. Working together with nature to grow food and recognizing it as a magical and sacred process, means an upper level of connection. Like the one our Indian ancestors had.

 

However, if you think it’s way too philosophical to think about connecting with nature this way, I have some practical ideas urban people can try.

Start with a Green Routine

One of the simplest ways to incorporate nature into your daily routine is by starting your day with a touch of greenery. If you have a balcony or a small outdoor space, create a mini garden with potted plants, herbs, or flowers. Spend a few minutes each morning watering your plants and enjoying the fresh air. If outdoor space is limited, indoor plants can also bring the calming effects of nature into your home. Tending to plants can be a therapeutic activity that fosters a sense of peace and connection to the natural world.

Explore Local Parks and Green Spaces

Cities often have parks and green spaces that provide a respite from the urban environment. Make it a habit to visit these areas. Whether it’s a quick lunchtime walk, an evening jog, or a weekend picnic, spending time in parks can significantly boost your mood and reduce stress. Even a couple of trees and a patch of grass can do the trick.

Embrace Urban Gardening

Urban gardening is an excellent way to immerse yourself in nature, even in the heart of the city. Community, rooftop, and vertical gardens are becoming increasingly popular in urban areas. Joining a community garden allows you to grow your own vegetables, herbs, and flowers with the perk of connecting with like-minded individuals. I’m a passionate gardener! Gardening provides fresh produce, exercise, sunlight exposure, a sense of accomplishment, and a deeper connection to Mother Earth.

Take Nature-Inspired Breaks

Throughout your day, take short breaks to reconnect with nature. Step outside for a few minutes to breathe in the fresh air, feel the sunlight on your skin and listen to the birds chirping or rustling leaves. If stepping outside isn’t possible, even looking out of a window at trees or the sky can provide a moment of tranquility. Use these nature-inspired breaks to clear your mind and recharge your energy.

Incorporate Natural Elements into Your Environment

Bringing elements of nature into your home and workspace can create a more calming and restorative environment. Decorate with natural materials like wood, stone, and plants. Adopt nature-inspired artwork, looking at a picture of a waterfall can provide almost the same benefits as a real one. Keep blinds open to let in natural light. Consider a small indoor water feature or an essential oils diffuser to create a soothing atmosphere. 

Participate in Outdoor Activities

Engaging in outdoor activities is a fantastic way to experience nature and stay active. Look for opportunities to hike, bike, or take a leisurely walk along scenic routes. Many cities have nature trails, river walks, or coastal paths that offer beautiful views and a chance to escape the urban environment. These activities not only improve physical health but also provide mental rejuvenation. Even if there is no way to do it daily, incorporating nature immersions into your weekends can be deeply invigorating.

Nutrition

You probably never thought about it in this way but, nutrition is the pinnacle of connecting with nature. All 4 elements are necessary for the divine miracle of growing food – soil, water, sun, and air. Then fire and water, if needed, to cook. The same can be said for tea and coffee. Eating and drinking are ways to take nature inside us. Mindfully nourishing and properly caring for your body is the ultimate way to honor our divine nature.

We Are Nature

While many of us might think differently, humans are just another species of mammals on Earth. We’re part of the planet’s ecosystem as any other animal. That’s why connecting with our essence is ultimately connecting with nature. So, regardless of where we are, practicing self-awareness and mindful time alone whether meditating, praying, listening to nature sounds, or enjoying a peaceful scenery means connecting with nature.

Then, living in the city doesn’t mean you have to be disconnected from nature. By incorporating a few simple practices into your daily routine, it’s possible to establish meaningful connections with the natural world. Whether sitting with yourself, mindfully eating, gardening, visiting parks, or bringing natural elements into your home, small things can bring a big sense of peace and harmony to your urban life. Embrace the beauty of nature, even amid the city, and discover the profound impact it can have on your mental and physical health.

After all, Good is what makes you feel well!

Anna.

Anna Resende

Anna Resende

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
Certified by IIN - Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Every week I send out my newsletter called Mamma’s Tips where I share health and wellness topics, good books, recipes, and more. 

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A Weekend of Feeling Great!

In this book, you’ll find all the steps you can take to feel great. Besides all the foundational principles of multidimensional health, it has a sample of a productive daily routine and a two-day menu with 10 healthy recipes for you to try.

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