We might not be able to spend as much time as we’d like in the great outdoors at the moment but making the most of the outside world can help to lower stress levels, improve immunity, slash your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and make you a happier human being! Try these top tips to get the most from Louise Pyne for planet-friendly living.
1. Get green-fingered
Whether you have access to a garden, balcony or even just a teeny windowsill that’s exposed to a slither of sunlight – the feel-good benefits that come with growing your own plants are almost instantaneous. ‘Understanding your plants needs, when it needs water, what sunlight it likes and how it grows and develops will connect you to natures cycles. If you’re new to gardening, start with a young lavender or rosemary plant. They are both super easy to grow, need very little attention, and offer great gifts in return,’ believes Bobo Boaz, Clinical herbalist at Kiara Naturals. Lavender can be used to calm the senses and fragrance the house whilst rosemary is a great working-from-home plant as it helps to improve concentration and focus.
2. Eat seasonal foods
Do your part in helping to preserve the environment by eating more locally sourced ingredients. These emphasise seasonality, minimise waste and offer good nutrition. ‘You could try safely foraging food in the wild, or buying fresh herbs and veggies from local farmers markets or cooperatives. Eating in this way will not only give you a higher nutritional value but seeing and feeling these fresh foods will give you higher satisfaction from your meal,’ says Bobo.
3. Go for a mindful walk
Ensure you get the most out of your daily exercise quota by connecting in nature. Switch off your phone and ditch your headphones for a distraction-free mindful walk instead. ‘Listen to whatever nature is around you such as birds, leaves in the wind, or your feet on the ground. Conscious walking in nature has been proven to reduce stress, increase serotonin and dopamine levels, boost immune and skin vitality and make happier people. So much so, that in Japan doctors can now prescribe patients nature walks as disease prevention! Even 15 minutes two to four times a week is a good start,’ shares Bobo.
4. Wake up to nature
Head to the countryside! Pitching a tent and sleeping under the stars is one of the best things that you can do to marvel at the world around you. ‘Sleeping in nature can help to clear the mind and reduce stress levels,’ explains Bobo. It’s a great way to have a break from the fast pace of daily life and breathe in the benefits of fresh air.
5. Take your workout outdoors
If you’ve been getting your fitness kick with online workouts since the pandemic began but you’re starting to feel stuck in a rut, take your fitness routine outdoors for a refreshing change. Head to your local park for a run or do a yoga workout in your garden followed by some mindful meditation. ‘At the same time as exercising you’re connecting to the earth,’ adds Bobo.