Bring Nature Indoors

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Many nature lovers around the world have suddenly been confined to their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nature has a powerful effect on our health and wellbeing, especially on our mood and coping mechanisms. While going outside daily and strolling through a local park or even enjoying a picnic in the backyard provides a healthy dose of nature, it is not always possible. Below are 6 ways to bring small doses of nature indoors.

1. Get some indoor plants

Studies suggest that having plants indoors may help to reduce stress and anxiety, relieve pain, improve productivity, and increase positive feelings.

2. Change your phone, computer, and TV backgrounds to natural scenes

Research has suggested that simply viewing scenes of nature can help to reduce feelings of anger, fear, and stress. You can download your favorite nature photos from our Nature collection on SmugMug.

3. Incorporate natural background music into your home

Mayo Clinic indicates that listening to natural sounds like birds, forests, wind, and water can help us relax by increasing parasympathetic activity, or our rest-and-digest system. Listening to natural sounds is even more helpful when combined with meditation.

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4. Play with pets

Hundreds of studies have suggested that interacting with pets can help people recover from or better cope with health problems.

5. Utilize natural aromatherapy

The research is limited but some studies have suggested that the therapeutic use of essential oils extracted from plants may help to improve sleep, quality of life, and mood.

6. Open up the blinds (and windows if possible)

Being exposed to natural light and air helps improve sleep and mood. A recent study revealed the wide-ranging negative effects of short-term cave exposure on the human body, from hormonal imbalance to muscular damage.

To be sure, physically going outside daily is ideal, but by utilizing some of these methods for bringing nature indoors we can harness more of the positive effects that nature can have on us, and minimize the negative health effects if we are forced to stay inside all day.

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