4 simple ways to reconnect with nature

Updated: Aug 1

When you’re in the cycle of everyday life – from rushing to work and ferrying kids to school, to seeing friends and keeping up with life admin – nature can often seem very far away. As a result, we can feel disconnected from the natural world.

What’s more, research is increasingly showing that a disconnect from nature could be contributing to un-wellness. It’s never been more important to re-establish a connection to the natural environment.

While not all of us have the time (or cash) to escape to an eco-friendly nature retreat, there are plenty of things we can do at home and in our community to build a stronger relationship to nature.

How to reconnect with nature

Go barefoot

Rubber-soled shoes and manmade flooring mean that we rarely get to feel the ground beneath our feet. Feeling the textures of nature – whether it’s a stretch of grass or a sandy beach – is an amazingly simple way to reconnect to the natural world.

This practice – also called Earthing or grounding – has been building in interest over the past few years. Researchers have been looking into how grounding may have a role in stress reduction, sleep quality and even supporting our immune system.

For instance, a review in 2020 concluded that Earthing can help to improve our wellbeing. Researchers found that regular bodily contact with the Earth can help to reduce inflammation, pain and stress. It can also help to improve blood flow, increase energy and help with sleep.

Next time you’re at the park or in your garden, take off your shoes and feel the Earth beneath your feet. Better still, take the time to lie on the ground and notice the parts of your body in contact with the Earth. Breathe deep and enjoy!

Look up at the stars

The universe is a source of infinite wonder. The good news is that it's absolutely free to marvel at.

On a clear night, take time to gaze up at the stars. Notice which constellations you can see (there are a number of helpful books or free apps that can help), and take note of the phase of the Moon in the sky.

Take time to journal about what you see and how you're feeling that day. Over time, you may notice patterns in your mood and energy that align with the different phases of the night sky.

Spend time among the flowers

A mindful walk can be an excellent way to reconnect with nature. Rather than just stomping mindlessly from A to B, take time to notice the sights, sounds and smells around you.

Pause to inhale the heady scent of a rose, or take a few moments to study the intricacy of a leaf. Stop to hear the breeze moving through the branches of a tree.

Take a camera with you to record any great finds, or simply pause with a journal to note or draw down anything you'd love to remember. It can be an excellent way to start a seasonal diary of the stunning natural life in your local area.

Go wild swimming

Taking a dip in the sea, local lake or stream is great exercise and can also help us to reconnect with nature.

Research is increasingly showing that time spent in 'blue spaces' can help to support our wellness. One recent study reported that time spent swimming in natural lakes can help to promote mindfulness, build resilience and help people to listen to their own bodies.

Wondering how to get started with wild swimming? Check out our guide here.