Did you know there is a simple way to improve your mood, lift your spirit, and maybe even experience joy? Studies show that nature can foster feelings of awe, and other positive emotions, when we feel captivated and engrossed in our surroundings.
What might that look like you ask? Well, it can be as simple as stepping outside, gazing at the sky, and watching the mesmerizing way clouds sweep across the blue background above, while morphing into various forms.
As many of us are forced to slow down, and spend more time alone, due to the coronavirus, we have an opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with our natural surroundings.
Just the other day, I couldn't help but stop and marvel at the magnificent colors that some of our local birds are.
When we walk a regular route in our outdoor environment, we may notice that nature has her own tempo, and the same walk may not have the same views. Take a look at the various stages this wondrous magnolia flower displayed over a series of three days.
Ready to step outside with a new awareness? What inspires awe in you when you engage with nature? How does it make you feel?
Having difficulty accessing nature, or know of someone who is? Check out the various videos offered by The Nature Nurse™ that can also help make you feel better.
Youtube: Relax With Nature
Pollinators-bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, as well as other flying critters, play a crucial role to our food supply and ecological survival. This activity is a fun way to help our pollinator friends find a food source, as well as allow them to do their work of transferring pollen grains from one flower to another.
Two Cups Potting Soil
One-Cup Dry Clay (Powered Red Pottery Clay)
Cookie Sheet and wax paper for drying see balls
Pollinator Friendly Seeds
Mix soil and clay well. Add water slowly until you mix is shapeable. Roll into balls and insert seeds if large (like sunflowers), or create pocket and insert seeds, and then close. Roll into meatball form and place onto wax paper lined cookie sheet. Allow to dry for one to two days.
Drop seed balls onto patches of dirt where you want them to grow !
Check with your local garden store, many are delivering. Or you can order the supplies to make seed balls online:
Pollinator Seeds: Click Here
Learn more in the Plant For The Pollinators Video
The Coronavirus is throwing a real curveball into all of our daily routines. While this can feel very unnerving, it can also be looked at as an opportunity to invite new experiences into our day.
Generally I start my day by taking a long walk around my neighborhood. I feel a sense of accomplishment; get some exercise, meditate and calm my mind for the day ahead. My favorite part is when I round the corner and the lake greets me. On a sunny day the water shimmers as if someone had tossed a handful of glitter across the surface. The green foliage is rich and deep.
With more time to fill as a result of the Stay at Home order, I have had to dig a little deeper into staying active and engaged. One of the silver linings of this Pandemic, I have found, is that I am taking a lot more walks; my step count has nearly doubled my usual number. One of the surprises has been to discover that the same path that I walk nearly every morning, transforms in just a matter of hours.
In the early evening light, the water no longer shimmers, it reflects. The leaves become more translucent as the sun descends in the background. I find myself mesmerized by the various shades of green. The invading thoughts of the virus-the anguish over the lack of supplies for frontline health workers, the fear of getting the virus, where is it now, how many people are dead......disappears. Perhaps I should take a detour from my routines more often.
Have you discovered something new as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic? Please feel free to share in the comments below.
When the world feels like it's hijacking your mind--bills showing up that demand to be paid, BREAKING news, that is pitched with a catastrophic tone, family demands, work deadlines; the list goes on; there is always the option to escape into nature. We may want to bring a camera with us, as many of us now have one at our disposal in our phone. Once outside, stop, just be, and allow yourself to focus on the scenery around you.
Watch for wildlife that may come out to meet you.
The more still we become, the more we may see.
The more we may discover.
Before long we may not even be aware that our minds have left all our worries behind, and went on a mini vacation to the present moment. Life may take on a new perspective. We may feel connected to something greater, that moves at a peaceful pace.
If we want to take this practice further, maybe we want to consider leaving our camera behind as we venture outdoors. Yes, aghast, leave our phone at home. I can hear some of you shriek, "But what if (fill in the blank needs me)"? Trust me, there was a time when we all survived without being connected to a phone. Maybe you call any dependent people, let them know you will be unavailable for the next hour, and refer them to someone else to call if something urgent comes up. Or maybe you just take small steps-literally just step out onto a balcony, a patio, before venturing off into a park or a forest.
Once outside, just sit and just be. As you sit and be, become aware of all the magnificence nature is surrounding you with. Imagine if you had a fancy camera, one that had a high power zoom lens, what might you try to capture in a picture? Take a picture in your mind and archive it there. Savor it. Enjoy just knowing that you experienced it and maybe someday in the future, you will retrieve it and relive the moment.
Want to share what you find in nature? Post your picture on social media with the hashtag #WowNature. If I see it, I may share it.