MENTAL HEALTH ∙ 2 minute read

Get back to nature: 5 simple ways to add nature therapy to your day

By Joe Young | Medically reviewed by Dr Luke Pratsides

Wellbeing isn’t just about diet and exercise. Your mind plays a key part too. And spending 120 minutes a week outside is associated with lower risks of obesity, diabetes, and mental distress. It’s a healthy habit that’ll stick. 

So get back to nature. You don’t have to go as far as Bear Grylls climbing inside a camel. You can get your fix easily by trying some of the ideas below.  

Grow plants at home

A home rainforest is unrealistic. But a few plants will make a difference to your home life. Especially if you work from home, a couple of simple additions can turn your workspace from a dark pit into a suburban oasis. 

Caring for a plant is fulfilling. Nurturing something will inspire you to take care of yourself. You could go all the way and grow your own vegetables and fruit to eat too, which could have an interesting effect on your sex life.

Go for a walk at lunch or in the evening

You know the feeling. It’s 3 pm and you’re flagging. You’ve had enough caffeine to topple an elephant with no difference. That mid-afternoon slump is hard to beat. So battle it with movement. Not only is walking good for your step count, but it’s an easy way to counter Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD)

If you’re in a city, embrace nature by having lunch in a park or by a city fountain. Anything different from your typical day will help. Combine this with simple ways to get active in your day

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Get a pet

Pets are proven to reduce stress. They’re so effective they’re now a form of therapy. 

Dogs are a brilliant excuse to leave the house too - making you talk to people and walk more than you would otherwise. 40% of pet owners say they’ve met people through their pet. You might only know them as “Spot’s Dad”, but it’s a good start. 

Relax with the sounds of nature

If you can’t get to nature, bring nature to you. It's available at the push of a button. Whale sounds before bed might not be your cup of tea, but studies have proven natural sounds effectively battle stress. 

Take up a new hobby

Walking, cycling, running, swimming, skating, dancing - all exercises that combine easily with nature. Find something you enjoy. And do it outside. 

The numan take

Sometimes the solution is right on your doorstep. Nature therapy is proven to reduce stress and increase your mood. And now you have many ways to do it.