The modern world’s harsh, angular lines and emphasis on hustle culture aren’t compatible with human biology. Unfortunately, it is the reality most folks inhabit. How can you prevent the physical and mental health impact of living like a proverbial fish out of water? Spending more time in nature is the ideal way to recharge and detox from daily life. Read on Ways to Spend More Time in Nature and Why You Should.
Studies show that even gazing at pictures of nature helps to ease stress levels, a modern plague that contributes to the development of chronic ailments like heart disease. Imagine what immersing yourself in its glory can do for your health.
Are you seeking ways to get outdoors? Are you convinced your schedule won’t let you? You might have to get a bit creative, but you can get your daily dose of sunshine. Here are five ways to spend more time in nature and why you should.
Ways to Spend More Time in Nature and Why You Should
5 Creative Ways to Spend More Time in Nature
The biggest barriers to spending more time in nature are time and money. Here are five suggestions that can help, depending on whether you have a little or a lot of either.
1. Enjoy a Much-Needed Vacation
Did you think vacationing in a national forest meant sleeping in a tent and dealing with weather and creepy-crawly critters? Think again. While ample grounds for the “roughing it” set exist, these attractions appeal to everyone. You can often find luxurious hotels surrounding national parks, where you can kick back in comfort, enjoying fine dining or spa treatments after your hike.
Therefore, make Mother Nature the focus of your next vacation destination. Do you want to do more to help the planet? Investigate eco-travel, which focuses on preserving natural wonders while supporting local communities.
2. Explore the Joys of Boondocking
What if you have less money and time but still need a natural getaway? If you have a weekend or day off coming, explore boondocking. This term refers to dispersed camping on public lands, where you can stay for free if you abide by the rules. You can stay in a selected site for up to 14 days within a 28-day period.
Boondocking is easier in western states, where a proliferation of BLM land means plenty of places to park. Please note that this style of spending time in nature means you won’t have access to electricity, water or internet hookups — but for many, that’s part of the charm.
3. Take Your Daily Walk in the Woods
Hiking is a fabulous way to spend more time in nature. Even cities like New York feature Central Park and many others where you can get your exercise in the fresh air.
Why should you spend more time in nature, anyway? It’s humankind’s natural habitat. Consider the following health benefits that will make you lace up your hiking boots:
- Improve your blood pressure: Heart disease remains the number one killer, but lowering your diastolic and systolic numbers decreases risk.
- Boost your immunity: Plants emit natural chemicals that boost human immunity when inhaled.
- Aid digestion: An after-dinner walk may prevent an upset stomach from keeping you awake by quickly moving food through your digestive tract.
- Sleep better: Moving in the fresh air helps you sleep more soundly. Ask any mom who has tired her little one out at the park before nap time.
- Ease anxiety and depression: The number of people with these ailments continues rising, but spending time in nature can ease symptoms and leave you calmer and happier.
If you decide to bask in the sunshine, be sure to wear and reapply SPF to protect against harmful UV radiation. While vitamin D has many benefits, be sure to take caution.
4. Contribute to Your Local Parks and Rec Department
Maybe you’re a retired teacher who still wants to give back without grading papers. If you once coached junior high softball, perhaps it’s time to graduate to umping a recreational league. Enjoy the sun’s warmth and fresh breezes on your skin while you call balls and strikes.
Perhaps you’re more of a team player than a leader. Do you want to meet new friends? Signing up for an outdoor sports league as a participant also brings you fun in the sun.
5. Help With a Community Garden
Community gardens are marvelous additions to urban areas and can become vital resources when shortages arise. They encourage self-sustainability within the confines of limited space.
If your neighborhood doesn’t have one, perhaps you can spearhead the project. You can often find local nonprofit organizations and commercial businesses willing to contribute to such efforts, although you’ll have to do the footwork to raise interest. All that door-to-door gets you moving in nature.
Once you raise interest, you’ll need to find a site, organize your plan and design rules. Many such projects charge participants an annual fee for a plot, with the raised funds going to build compost bins and provide supplies.
6. Pick Up a Scenic Side Hustle
What if your biggest impediment to spending more time in nature is that your hourly pay doesn’t cover your expenses, forcing you to work multiple jobs and inordinately long hours? This dilemma is a tough one — but is there any way you could combine your love of the outdoors with a lucrative side hustle?
Depending on your experience, it might take time to get the qualifications for the job you want. However, you can often earn extra side cash doing the following:
- Offer landscaping help: If you love gardening, see if you can drum up business mowing lawns and trimming bushes for neighbors lacking the physical ability.
- Dog walk: Dog walking is a fun side hustle you can often do before or after your day job. If you work irregular hours, even better — many pet parents need someone they trust to check on Fido during the day.
- Pressure washing: Handyman work often takes you outside, but you don’t need a lick of DIY skill to operate a pressure washer. You can rent them at big-box hardware stores until you save money to invest in one for your side business. People will pay for a neat home facade and deck, and watching the years of grime strip away is infinitely satisfying.
How to Spend More Time in Nature
Humans weren’t made to live within angular lines, staring at screens all day. Spending time in nature benefits your mental and physical health.
However, many people don’t get out as often as they’d like. The above tips can help you spend more time in nature, whatever your time and money situation.
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