As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt daily life, we have launched this blog series dedicated entirely to different areas of mental wellness. These blogs are based on a mental wellness initiative that we have started within our communities for our residents entitled “Recharge Your Battery”. This initiative focuses on mental wellness strategies and equips our associates with the tools they need to check in with our residents and to address any needs, just as we would with physical health.
For today’s topic, we’ll be focusing on getting back to nature and how it can center you and bring you peace. Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical well-being, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones. Research done in hospitals, offices and schools has found that even a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety.
Looking for ways to incorporate nature in your day-to-day life? We recommend the below tips.
- Sprinkle plants in every room. Bringing more plants into your home is a great way to incorporate nature into your life.
- Choose natural items as décor. When choosing storage bins, accessories, and colors for your interiors, consider choosing natural-made or natural-looking items. Select a color palette inspired by your favorite garden or landscape.
- Use natural scents throughout your home. You can find candles, diffusers, and sprays in many natural scents like pine, rain, fresh-cut grass, citrus, oregano, lavender or lilac.
- Grounding or earthing. Earthing (also known as grounding) refers to contact with the Earth’s surface electrons by walking barefoot outside or sitting. Taking time to walk barefoot, safely, in the grass has led to reduced anxiety and decreasing the risk for depression.
- Nature journaling. Take your time and draw nature. You can draw what you see, copy from a photo or sketch from memory. If you need extra inspiration, feel free to sit in the courtyard and journal about every detail.
- Grow an indoor herb garden. You might be surprised to know how easy it is to grow edible plants in your home! Herbs like rosemary, basil, mint and oregano are easy to grow and you can incorporate them in so many different dishes.
- Find a sunny spot. Pay attention to the times of days when the sun is shining through the windows of your home and find that super sunny spot to warm yourself and soak in the sunshine. Set up tables in that spot, play areas or cozy sitting spaces. Add a comfy chair and some pillows and turn it into a reading nook.