As our society is more and more geared towards living in cities, in fact 66% of the world’s population is predicted to live in urban areas by 2050, we tend to find ourselves living in an urban environment, with a morning wake-up call of a mix of sirens and the sound of glass bottles being emptied into the recycling.
While we can’t deny the convenience of the city and the buzz of people and the seemingly limitless list of things to do and see, sometimes we can’t help but feel a disconnect from nature. As we are being made more and more aware of environmental issues, from deforestation to plastic in our oceans, maybe it’s time to reconnect with nature on a smaller scale, every day, in our own neighbourhoods.
Nature connects us to our own humanity and by being more in touch with it can also improve our physical and mental well-being and generally make us feel happier, it connects us to the seasons and makes us aware of time passing. By connecting with nature, we are also more motivated to protect and care for the earth and our surroundings.
So how can we connect more to nature on a daily basis whilst living in the city?
1. Make a habit of walking
Walk whenever you have the opportunity. Whether you are walking to work, or jumping off the metro one stop earlier, walking can help you to become more aware of your surroundings and find little patches of greenery on your way. Not only does it help you to tune into your surroundings, it’s also a great way to get a little exercise.
2. Step outside the office
For those of us that work in offices, we can pass the whole day staring at a screen and sitting hunched over our desks, we become so focused on our work that we forget that there is a world outside. Stepping outside the office gives the chance to re-centre and change your perspective, even better if you have a local park in which you can eat your lunch with colleagues and friends.
3. Find outdoors inspired activities in your city
This takes a little research as it is dependent on where you live, however generally speaking apps such as Meetup are at your disposal to help you find activities based on your interests, you can join various groups and meet up with like-minded people organising activities in your area. Facebook is also a good place to start if you want to join in on organised activities between users, there are plenty of hiking, biking and outdoors inspired groups going around, and if you can’t find one.. start one!
4. Explore your local surroundings
If organised fun isn’t your thing, why not check out local lakes and rivers for canoe hire or lessons. Use your local bike rental, or grab your walking shoes and download Komoot to help you find some trails nearby. Join your local climbing gym and start a course, you’ll find new friends and you can organise climbing trips between you at the weekends.
5. Add plants to your living space
A little bit of foliage goes a long way. Keeping plants in your house may not seem like the biggest step to making your city life more outdoorsy, but it can certainly help you on your way. By adding plants to your house you can create a little respite from the concrete jungle in your own home, you can also add to your kitchen by growing herbs such as basil and mint, or add a little lavender to your bedroom for a good night’s sleep.
Leave us a comment on how you find ways to connect to nature when living in the city, we’d love to hear from you.