Slowly and carefully,
we can go out again, together with others. Thankfully, walking was something we could do at all times during the lockdown.
Living in the city of Arnhem and owning a dog is a happy combination. We live in a green city with lots of wooded parks and green hills, so spending time in nature is easy for us.
Connecting with nature has proven benefits. These benefits are perhaps more important than ever, because we are spending more time indoors, cramped up with family members. Luckily, we all can step outside more with the start of June.
Stepping outside and connecting with nature improves our health and wellbeing. Relieving stress, lowering heart rate and uplift your mood.
To enjoy the benefits of nature it is not solely about plunging into the great outdoors, hiking through the woods in Sweden or climbing an alp in Austria. Houseplants can also do the trick! Just to gaze at them while pondering over something.
For me it is easy to connect with nature in my city, but for others maybe not. Watching nature (in pictures or film) or hearing birth song will elevate alpha waves in your brain. It helps creative thinking and problem solving.
To compensate being indoors I now have a beautiful plant on my kitchen table, an Asparagus Plumosus. It has the appearance of a fern, looking at fractal patterns also prompts your brain to produce alpha waves which makes you feel calm and alert.
Me and my family spend our holidays mostly in Scandinavian nature, camping and hiking. This year will be different. We now go camping in the southern part of our country, Limburg. An area with many valleys and forests, great for walking. I’m looking forward to it.
Being in nature is not a luxury but is in fact essential to out humanity. Being in nature makes us more human.
In her book the Nature Fix, Florence Williams writes about why nature makes us happier, healthier and more creative. It was a good read because of the combination I like to read about, becoming a better version of yourself, productivity and health benefits. Also it is an easy read, sometimes funny, not a heavy scientific peace. I asked Florence Williams if I could share her video from her website, please do, she replied:-)
“[Williams] makes a compelling argument for time outdoors. She takes a refreshing approach, including ‘forest bathing’ (the Japanese custom of a sensory walk in the woods); ecotherapy in Scotland; and how nature can produce the same effects mind-altering drugs. Thought-provoking and excellent.” -BBC Wildlife
Watch the video below and see what happens when you spend 5 minutes in nature.
“If man is not to live by bread alone, what is better worth doing well than the planting of trees?”
-Frederick Law Olmsted
Books to read:
- Walk by Sholto Radford, The path to a slower, more mindful life.
A nice little book with tips to send you off to different paths
- The Outsiders by Gestalten, New Outdoor Creativity
To gear up! Gestalten has also other great books about hiking, cabins and life off the beaten track. A nice gift for Father’s Day 😉