Winter can take a real toll on our relationship with nature. The colder, shorter days mean many of us retreat indoors and lose touch with what it’s like being outside. We forget how good the sun feels, how fresh the grass smells, and how being under a blue sky elevates our state of mind.
The disconnection from the natural world in winter has a negative impact on both our physical and mental health. We find ourselves feeling sluggish, stressed, and even sad. Letting this last isn’t a wise idea. These feelings can quickly fester into chronic issues if we’re not cognizant of our innate need to reconnect with nature.
Fortunately, spring offers the best opportunity to repair our relationship with nature. Why? Because when the snow finally melts and temperatures rise, we are naturally drawn to outdoor spaces for a breath of fresh air. We have been depleted of all the benefits of nature for so long that it becomes a craving that begs to be satisfied. This need pushes us to prioritize spending time outdoors and truly appreciate it as though we’re experiencing it for the first time.
In this reconnection, we take notice of all the small things we have missed during winter. We also see life returning to outdoor spaces in a way that is unmatched in any other season. We marvel at the budding trees, blooming and fragrant flowers, and wildlife families filling remote and urban spaces alike.
It’s in springtime where our senses are most attune to the beauty of natural spaces; and it’s in springtime when we need this reminder the most. After long, dark months of hiding inside, we return to a more balanced state of being and nourish our need for nature simply by being outside.
Here are a few ways you and your family can reconnect with nature this spring:
- Go for regular nature walks or hikes
- Plant a garden
- Join an outdoor recreational sports team
- Play at the playground
- Have a picnic at the park
- Head out for regular bike rides
- Clean up litter at the beach
- Visit an animal sanctuary
- Go birdwatching
- Make a bug hotel or birdhouse
- Take the family horsebacking riding