Nature may not be a cure-all, but it certainly cures most. A bad mood, feelings of disconnection, spiritual aloofness, immune system issues, plateaus in weight loss, reduction in inflammation, and much more; that is, if we take the time to be alone, with ourselves, in nature- genuinely connecting.

But how do you get these nature benefits if you live in the city?  

Time to move out into the bush? Maybe, but maybe that’s not possible right now. No worries, we have real solutions for you to help you bring pieces of nature inside so they can help you.

Bring Nature to You

House plants are a great way to bring the outdoors indoors. City living may mean you don’t have easy access to a nearby forest or even a big backyard but that doesn’t mean you can’t have that same greenery in your life!

Indoor plants purify the air in your home, boost your mood- and thankfully are an interior designers dream ;) If you’re worried about your green thumb being less-than-green, there are plenty of plants such as aloe, succulents, cacti, and heart leaf philodendron that are low-maintenance and easy to take care of.

Here are some options we love:

 The snake plant is known for its air-purifying properties as it has the ability to absorb excessive amounts of carbon monoxide and other toxins while producing pure oxygen.

English ivy helps to substantially reduce the amount of mold in your home helping those with asthma, allergies, and other respiratory conditions.

The weeping fig tree is a misnomer ;) It is also recognized for its superior air-purifying abilities. An added bonus- if you do decide to repot this outside, it will even produce fruit! 

If you’re looking to take it one step further, why not grow your own herbs indoors? Most herbs like basil, mint, and dill can be grown in small terracotta pots. Just leave them in a window sill and water them every other day, it’s that easy!

For your body, bring nature indoors using a natural stone mat! Get grounding benefits, also referred to as “Earthing” by closing your eyes and doing a walking meditation on a stone mat. The mat grounds your energy (great for anxiety), elicits a calming effect on the body, stimulates the nervous system, inhibits pain, and reduces stress.

Essential Forest Oils

Essential Oils are made by extracting elements from a plant (through cold pressing or distillation to capture the plant’s scent and flavour) and (sometimes) combining it with a carrier oil for us to use. When you smell the oil through a diffuser or apply it to your skin, some of the plant elements are absorbed, sharing with you their unique health benefits.

Essential oils exist in MANY forms, for this purpose, we want to highlight organic and natural forest oils. Forest aerosols in the air are very beneficial for us humans - body, mind, and soul. 

Cypress is used to treat coughing, muscle pain- even acne and open cuts, spruce improves openness and mind clarity, sandalwood is used to calm nerves and increase focus, and rose is used to improve mood and reduce anxiety. You can explore more of our favourite essential oils here

Light Therapy

If you have seasonal affective disorder you may have googled solutions to your mood changes. If you have, you may have come across UV lights and light therapy. It’s not bogus - it truly does work. Especially if you are in the city that experiences a long winter, light therapy is a wonderful way to expose yourself to the benefits of being outdoors. Light therapy boxes give off a bright light to mimic natural outdoor light. It is used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), improve mood and sleep, and even certain skin conditions like psoriasis.

You can also use a “sunrise” alarm clock. These gradually emit light to copy that of a sunrise or natural lighting. This prepares the body for full wakefulness and studies show that waking up to natural light can boost your mood instantly!

It’s not just about more natural light, it’s also about reducing exposure to the bad light.

Switching to eyeglass lenses with a blue light filter is also a great way to create more comfortable vision by blocking EMF given off from artificial lighting, you TV, phone, etc. We want to avoid EMF when possible because it can contribute to headaches, fatigue, sleep disturbances, dizziness, among other things. When we spend so much of our day in front of screens, filtering that out is key. 

Give your Neighbourhood a Chance

Have you ever seen your neighbourhood or your city from a bird’s eye view? Check it out on Google Maps! Even if there aren’t any forests or trails nearby, there could be a park that you don’t yet know about. Isn’t it true that we often don’t realize what’s in our backyard? Check it out.

You can even fit a little nature in when you are at work! Have a conference call? Take it on the move and go for a walk- that will even help to stimulate your brain and get those creative juices going. Or ask a coworker to go for a walk at lunch. Even when you’re hitting the pavement, the fresh air and activity will help to break up the day and make you feel refreshed. It’s a step closer to nature - get in what you can - all I ask is that you actually appreciate nature, look around you, feast your eyes on the beauty of each tree and flower.

My last tip- get a dog! No, but seriously. You’re responsible. You’re competent. You’re organized. You’re the perfect pet parent candidate! Obviously connecting with nature isn’t the sole reason you should adopt a pup but people really do get out waaaay more, especially in the wintertime, when they have a dog. If you’re ready, adding a dog to your household provides companionship, can improve mental health, and creates accountability. That pup needs the outdoors just as much as you do.  

Moral of the story? Get creative. Pavement isn’t our natural state. You want to be well? Body, mind and soul? Then wake up and smell the roses - nature is part of our DNA. Go get it.

Looking to get outdoors more and want to be with a community? Check out our next outdoor events here!