How Nature Can Nurture your Soul
When I was growing up I always thought that I’d be a city girl through and through. I had visions of me clasping a Starbucks cup, wearing heels and running around a city partaking in whatever very-important-fashion-job I ended up getting.
Can you see the paralells between every romcom ever?! Not influenced at all.
Fast forward a few years and I did end up living in London, attending fashion school, and generally doing what I’d envisaged doing when I was younger. Albeit in flat shoes, and as a student. But still.
After four years in London I ended up making a move I hadn’t anticipated – I moved to the countryside! And, spoiler, I LOVE it here. Six years into my country life, and I appreciate being close to nature more now than ever.
In lockdown mine and Oli’s daily walks took on a whole new level of importance. We were walking more than ever, and it made me realise that there’s no reason for not keeping up with the habit outside of isolation too. An hour-long walk is easy enough to incorporate, and the benefits are huge.
Nature, and getting outdoors, has become the backbone of every day for us. It’s our means of exercise, our walking meditation, a break from the cycle of every day, be it in isolation or in the ebbs and flow of daily work. It’s a time to appreciate something far bigger than us. Namely, Mama Nature.
A while back (2017!) the brilliant Chelsea Becker contributed this article about the importance of getting outdoors, and how nature can nurture your soul.
Given recent events, it felt like the perfect time to update this post for you. I hope you’ll enjoy reading Chelsea’s advice with eyes afresh, and a new context I don’t think any of us expected.
I should note here too that you don’t need to live in the countryside to appreciate nature. Just getting outdoors, and looking up from your phone(!), can be the connection to Mama Nature you need.
Why We Should All Pay Attention To Mother Nature
& How Time Outside Can Nurture Your Mental & Physical Health
by Chelsea Becker
Dress: Odd Molly c/o | Trainers: Superga ~ past season
Sunglasses: Jimmy Fairly c/o | Bag: Tu Clothing ~ past season
There is something incredibly fulfilling about being outside in nature, wouldn’t you agree?
Being next to a roaring ocean, hypnotised by the rythm of the waves.
Standing under a canopy of trees and realising their magnitude.
Or even soaking your feet into lush, deep grass.
There’s just nothing like the feels that Mother Earth can provide.
Being in nature can do SO much for you.
Yes, it makes a great snap for the ‘gram, but being outdoors is scientifically proven to be good for your soul, your health, state of mind, and more.
A pretty feed and a soul boost? Sign me up!
Here are 5 ways that nature can add meaningful benefits to your life:
1 – Boosted Creativity
With all the technology that we consume, especially for those of us whose jobs revolve around a computer, or a phone (raising my hand!), our brains can get bogged down.
Our minds become exhausted by the lights and transmitters which bombard us via screens.
Stepping outside into nature, even for a short walk, can improve cognitive function and creative thinking skills.
Your tired eyes will thank you too!
A walk outside in nature can be especially helpful if you’re in a creative rut, or experiencing some kind of working block. Now, more so than ever, changing your environment can act as a ‘reset’ for your day.
2 – Immune System
Immersing yourself in nature, in a relaxing way, is crazy good for your immune system.
Why? When we are cooped up indoors, working away on chores or work tasks, we’re often in ‘fight or flight’ mode. Meaning that our cortisol levels are piqued, which can have an impact on our adrenal glands, and farther down the line, on our immune systems.
By getting out into nature you allow your body to unwind. Feeling relaxed lowers your cortisol levels, which in turn has a positive impact on your immune system.
If you’re feeling low, blah or like you just want to give your immune system a boost, time outdoors is a surefire way to help.
At a socially responsible distance of course.
3 – Ground Yourself
Have you heard of ‘grounding’?
As Hannah Zahner shares:
“Grounding simply means spending time in nature barefoot, and putting your feet in direct contact with the ground (such as soil, water, sand or any conductive surface). This contact with the earth is an easy way to absorb the electromagnetic charge of the Earth, offering an amazing boost to your overall well-being.”
Grounding can relieve tension, muscle soreness and headaches.
Next time you have the chance to ground, take your shoes off, plant your feet to the earth, and enjoy the benefits which follow!
4 – Reduced Inflammation
Would you believe me if I said that being in nature can help your body to fight inflammation? It’s true!
Our bodies naturally become inflamed with the following: stress, poor diet, not enough sleep, etc. And extreme inflammation can lead to autoimmune disorders or even depression.
Being in nature quiets the mind and allows your body’s inflammation to naturally settle a bit.
There’s no easier way to increase health than by walking outside your doorstep!
5 – Better Mood
Perhaps the benefit of spending time in nature that is most noticeable, is a boosted mood. It’s hard to be grumpy when you’re getting glimpses of fresh flowers, running water, or green trees, right?
Studies have shown that people living closer to, or more in touch with, nature have lower anxiety levels in general, which makes sense.
Less traffic, more trees.
Less waiting, more living.
Even if you live in a big city, prioritising breaks to see nature, whenever you can, will help!
The benefits that accompany time in nature are pretty amazing. Plus, time outdoors, staring at anything Mother Earth has created always leaves me with a sense of gratitude.
It reminds me that the world is a BIG place, and that life is truly a gift.
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE?
Have you noticed these benefits to be true when connecting your soul to nature?
Monica and I would love to know!
Love, Chelsea x
This blog post was originally published on May 17, 2017, and has been updated for 2020.