Are you an urban, car-free resident who feels lost in the concrete jungle? Do you find yourself needing to reconnect to the natural environment around you but don’t know how to take the first steps? Read on for a few tips on how to incorporate more nature into your busy city life each and every day.
1. Take time to smell the roses
I pass under a beautiful canopy of lush, tall trees during the 10 to 15 minutes it takes me to walk to the train station each morning. Sure it would be easy for me to send off a couple of text messages, read my emails and catch up on news while commuting to my train. I could easily plug in my headphones and zone into my own world while powerwalking away.
Instead, I’ve learned to savor my precious few minutes spent walking through the neighborhood and embraced the old cliché of taking time to smell the roses. By simply keeping my phone in my bag and out of sight, I’ve noticed the abundance of forsythia, daffodils and roses that grace my daily route to work. I know I’ll have plenty of screen-time when I get to work, so I am sure to enjoy nature while I can.
2. Research local parks
One of the best things about living in the U.S. is that we have access to a rich source of biodiversity in every corner of the country. I grew up in the southwest where hiking was a daily activity shared by my family. Even though I live on the east coast now, I haven’t let that stop me from finding new mountains to explore.
If you have a city friend with a car, grab a couple of friends and head to a local park for the day. Even if you don’t have a car, many cities now offer a plethora of car-sharing and renting services that allow you to affordably use a car for a short period of time.
Just because you are a city dweller, doesn’t mean you can’t immerse yourself in nature for a day. No matter which urban area you live in, chances are high that there is a fantastic park an hour or two away just waiting to be explored.
3. Make time for a visit outside everyday
Eating lunch at your desk may lead your coworkers to believe you are an overachiever, but let’s be real– how much can you truly accomplish by scarfing down your sandwich hunched over your computer and spilling crumbs everywhere?
My work building is adjacent to some of our country’s most beautiful monuments, so I’m very lucky that I get to enjoy a beautiful view by simply bringing my lunch outside. Even if you don’t have such scenic views near your office, taking a quick walk outside for 15 minutes is seriously refreshing.
I guarantee you’ll accomplish more if you take the time to step outside during the day rather than sitting glued to your desk chair for 8+ hours.