Shel Pink Shares 5 Ways to Connect with Nature
My best memories of childhood are of being outside, in nature, in every season. I grew up in Michigan where each winter I would pick icicles from the roof edge of my house and build forts out of snow. I used the icicles as levers and knobs to “activate” parts of the fort. During the summer I would collect caterpillars, and play with worms, and spent countless hours at the lake, swimming and playing in the sand. When I grew a bit older I went to summer camp where I learned how to sail, windsurf, and canoe. I spent a lot of time in nature and found that being outdoors made me very happy.
Fast forward to life as a working mother of two living in Los Angeles, nature has become a long forgotten friend. I do talk about nature, I reminisce about our good old days together, and I say that we should reconnect, but so often it’s easy to make excuses for why I don’t have the time. Sometimes I’ll say that my family should get to the beach more often and ride our bikes along the path or even head out for a hike, but as we all know talking about something and actually doing something are two very different things. This is why I’ve decided that in honor of Wellness Week I’ll be taking the Connect with Nature pledge. This month I pledge that we will take that long bike ride, picnic in a park, go on a hike, and plan a camping trip for the summer. Just making that commitment to reconnecting with nature makes me feel happy!
Here are some of my tips for reconnecting with nature both in LA and nationwide:
Look for ways that you can get involved with a wildlife preserve in your area or volunteer at a state park. There are more than 6,500 state parks in the United States. Go for a hike on Saturdays or start a family outing tradition where each member of the family gets to choose a hike or nature walk to lead as a family activity. This is an easy way to connect with nature.
Plant a vegetable garden: Get out into nature in your own backyard by planting a simple vegetable garden. Connect with the earth and help teach your kids where their vegetables come from. There are some great videos on YouTube if you need help figuring out how to start.
Tree People: This is a fantastic organization that has a volunteer page on its website to help encourage reconnecting with nature and saving trees. You can volunteer to plant a tree, redistribute fruit trees, and help clean up a site.
Visit a Natural Hot Spring: Known for their rejuvenating qualities, hot springs can be a perfect way to reconnect with nature. Search for a local hot spring in your area and spend the day immersed in the relaxing setting while gazing up at the flora and fauna.
Visit a Sacred Waterfall: I recently heard about Tahquitz Falls in Tahquitz Canyon, Palm Springs, California, and it’s now on my list of places to visit. What a great motivator to hike to see a beautiful waterfall. This can be a perfect way to learn about nature by visiting a spot in your state that offers some peace and quiet and reflection time.
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