Last updated August 1, 2022
What happens when we reconnect with nature? We become more creative and inspired, we feel more balanced and grounded plus we have lower stress levels. Yet our hectic lifestyle often prevents us from getting much-needed outdoor time. It doesn’t have to be complicated, though, when you follow these 6 ways to incorporate nature into your day.
Studies show that nature plays a highly influential role in our physical and mental wellness.
A simple walk in the park can inspire creativity and focus, calm the mind and ground us, as well as boost our mood and energy level.
However, as our lives become more attached to our devices, we lose touch with the healing power that nature can offer us. We spend much of our time at our desks, staring into the glow of our devices and longing for our next moment of relaxation.
But what if these moments are more accessible than we think?
Dr. Melissa Lem, Director of Parks Prescriptions for the BC Parks Foundation and long-time advocate for the benefits of connecting to the natural world, outlines six ways that we can seamlessly integrate nature and little pockets of peace into our everyday routines.
How to Incorporate Nature into Your Day
It’s easier than you think to work nature’s magic into your routine! Check out these 6 ways to incorporate nature into your day.
1. Spend at least two hours a week in nature
Research shows that those who spend at least two hours per week in nature report significantly better health and well-being as compared to those who don’t get this time outside.
Two hours may seem daunting, but when split up into six 20-minute periods, it becomes a lot more doable to incorporate nature into your day.
Those looking to maximize the stress-relieving effects of the outdoors might want to spend an extra ten minutes on their walk: the most efficient drop in cortisol happens between the 20- to 30-minute mark.
Looking for ideas for 20-minute activities? Walking your dog, taking a bike ride through the neighborhood, reading a book in the park or even sitting on a bench to gaze at the trees are all great ways to meet your time-in-nature quota.
2. Make easy, green tweaks to your routine.
Book a lunchtime walk in the park with a coworker. Do your next cardio workout on the trail instead of at the gym.
Choose an active commute to work or school along the greenway, and take a break along the way to soak it all in. Plan a weekend getaway around an outdoor experience.
There are so many simple ways to incorporate nature into your day without the extra hours and effort.
When you think about it, many things that we already do inside can be done outside: reading, eating a meal, playing with your pet or socializing with a friend can all be done just as well under the sun.
3. Write nature into your schedule.
Schedule and prioritize green time like you would a doctor’s appointment or a dinner date. That means entering it into your day planner or phone calendar.
Science tells us that when we write down the words, it’s more likely to happen.
If you tend to have more energy in the morning after drinking your coffee, schedule that walk for 10 am. If you love to watch the changing colors of a sunset, pencil in that park date for 5 pm.
A pro-tip: set an alert for a few minutes before the event so that you can grab the proper clothing and get ready to head outside.
4. Phone a friend (or family member).
It’s hard to hold yourself accountable when you’re the only one aware of your goal. Getting another person involved increases the chances that you’ll meet your quota for time outdoors.
Whether it’s your mother, your significant other or your best friend, let them know where and when you plan to get outside. They can help to hold you accountable—and maybe even join you for a picnic in the park.
5. Respect nature—and yourself.
Dress for the weather. Stay on the trail and avoid risky detours. Always pack out what you pack in and don’t litter.
Treating nature with respect keeps our green spaces safe and accessible for everyone. Beyond this, establishing respect for the world around us is a great way to form a deeper connection with nature.
Self-respect is just as important. Likewise, when you incorporate nature into your day, it shouldn’t be a burden.
Make sure you’re doing what’s comfortable for you when you get outside. Feel free to push yourself with a challenging hike or bike ride—but know when it’s time to stop and rest.
6. Book a nature-centered, active wellness vacation.
What better way to enjoy the perks of the outdoors than on a vacation focused on your personalized wellness?
Book a wellness retreat or active vacation through Vacayou and experience nature in a new and enriching way, whether you’re looking to detox your body, learn the ins and outs of meditation, hike through the mountains or surf some waves along the way.
Vacayou’s wellness vacations range from a cycling tour through the mountains of Southern Italy to a mindfulness and yoga retreat on the beaches of Costa Rica.
No matter how you are looking to experience the outdoors, Vacayou is sure to help you incorporate nature into your day.
We believe that travel has the power to change lives. The power to revive, rejuvenate and redirect the inner self. That’s why we’re here. Take an online staycation with us. Change how you think about travel and let us make it easier for you to search, discover, and book wellness and active vacations. But we don’t stop there. We are with you every step of the way—before, during and after your journey—to make sure you enjoy the most meaningful vacation ever. It’s Travel That Moves You.