Lockdown and Connecting With Nature
As I’m writing this we’re now well into our second week of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic here in the UK. Although I have found many positives in the lockdown situation, one of the things I almost immediatley missed the most was my connection with nature.
I know I’m lucky to have a wee private garden with my flat, and the disconnect with nature has been greater for some, but one of my first responses to the lockdown was to think about how I was going to reconnect with nature during this time. Whether you have a great expanse of yard, or live in a high rise block, I hope what I’ve found works will give some inspiration and motivation to get reconnected with nature too.
Getting Your Focus Right, Whatever The Disconnect
It’s key right now to focus on what you can do, and not on what’s not available to you. If there’s something you’re missing from ‘normal’ life, start by recognising any sadness or disappointment that might be causing you, maybe even journal about it, and then turn your attention to what you have control over in the situation. Being thankful that you’ve had the opportunity to enjoy those things in the past, and that you’ll have them to return to in the future, can be a great place to start too.
My Top Tips For Reconnecting With Nature Right Now
- Follow The Sun For Your Vitamin D ~ work out which way the sun moves around your home and plan your daytime around that. Take 5 minutes every hour to stand outside in the sun if possible, but if not stand by the window it’s shining on. You can make this lots of fun with the kids, (if you have them) too by tracking the sun’s movements with a compass to work out where it will be when. You don’t need an actual compass, as you can get compass apps on smartphones, so you could even plan some indoor orienteering for the little ones to keep them amused. On the greyer days (we’re bound to get them in the UK for sure) practice standing at the window where the sun would be, and giving thanks for the warmth and ‘spring in your step’ it brings while it’s around.
- Get Your Bare Feet On The Ground -~ if you have some form of garden this is going to be easier for you, but if you don’t it’s still doable. If you’re not used to getting mucky the idea of this might gross you out a bit at first, but at this time of super-sanitising I think it’s more important than ever to get your feet on earth in some way. Make sure you do this in a Corona-conscious way if you have worries about cross-infection. Find somewhere to stand where lots of others won’t have, go off the beaten track if you can as part of your hours exercise if it’s possible, but if not how about the grassy verge at the supermarket? Or by a tree on the street corner? Be mindful of the distance you’re giving others, but don’t worry about what they’ll think if you whip your shoes off to get your bare feet on the ground.
- Plant Some Seeds ~ Garden, window sill, balcony, there are lots of options here. It’s the perfect time of year for planting, and whether you go for something that smells good, tastes good, or is just aesthetically pleasing, this is a great time for getting things in the ground. Although access to plants and garden centres may be restricted, I’ve found many supermarkets are delivering seeds with food supplies. I’ve planted some herbs on my kitchen window sill, keeping it simple, and this is also one that can help the kids stay connected with nature too.
- Listen ~ this is the first of two that involves using your ears. With much less traffic around at the moment, try turning everything off in the home and just spending some time listening. What can you hear? It’s much easier to hear the birdsong at the moment, as well as other sounds from nature. If you’re a little on the nerdy side (you know who you are) you could try to find out what birds make what call, or you could just close your eyes and spend time enjoying the music.
- Listening To Where You Would Like To Be ~ the second one for using your ears (if you hadn’t guessed!), and this is a great one for when you’re feeling stressed or are struggling to sleep too. Download a Nature Sounds app. There are actually plenty to choose from that play the sounds of the sea, of rain storms, birdsong, and even jungle sounds. This is an easy one to have on in the background to enable you to reconnect without even thinking about it. Or if you want to be more proactive you can listen while you sit quietly for a while, maybe close your eyes and picture the scene, or even just have on while you’re going to sleep at night.
- Imagination And Delta Brain Waves ~ if your living situation makes it really challenging to reconnect with nature, or you’re looking for a deeper experience and struggling to find it, then there’s always your imagination! Allowing yourself to create an imaginary chord to where you’d like to be in nature, and fully immersing in that can still be a deeply reconnected experience if you allow yourself the time to do it properly. Start by listening to something that will help you create Delta Brain Waves, enabling your mind to drop into a highly relaxed state. For me this is often Shamanic Drumming music, but you might find that the Nature Sounds apps, or even music that evokes strong memories of good, relaxed times might have the same input for you if you allow yourself time to dive deep with it. Why not wrap yourself up warm, lie down, and close your eyes, allowing your mind to wander to places in nature that bring you happiness, and that you feel a strong connection to.
- Handle Something From The Natural World ~ what have you got around your home, or nearby, that reconnects you in to the natural world? This could be crystals, or beautiful flowers, but if you’re anything like me it’s more likely to be stones and feathers. It doesn’t really matter what it is as long as it’s something that resembles nature to you. Take time to handle it, maybe fiddle with it while you’re on the phone, or, if you can, really take time to look at it and FEEL it when you get a quiet 5 minutes. You might want to put these on your bedside table for the coming weeks, or even create an alter space with lots of nature reminders there.
During lockdown you might not be getting the chance to reconnect with nature as you would usually like to, or it might not even be something that you’ve consciously thought about before, but hopefully these ideas will have given you some inspiration on what you can do to be grounded and connected over the coming weeks.