A few years ago, I read a book called, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. It was eye-opening to read about how far removed from nature we actually are. This is not new news but it certainly cast a spotlight on a very real thing.
I’ve witnessed it first-hand too. I’ve seen two gamers (after playing XBox around the clock) take at least two hours to begin to start functioning normally in a social situation. Those first two hours were brutal. It was like we were speaking a different language. They were in complete zombie-mode.
I can totally relate to this feeling. All it takes is a few hours of computer time, being completely in my head while researching the heck out of something and I lose a portion of my social skills. I can feel my brain flat-line when someone asks me a question. And here’s the scary part, in those moments, I crave getting back online.
You might think that technology is the cause but I digress. On more than one occasion, I’ve been walking a clearly marked, highly used trail in the woods and my company was just shy of crawling out of their skin because, “what if they saw an animal?” Me, personally? I would be more scared if we came across a human instead.
Here is my list of a few things you can do to reconnect you with nature:
- Get out of the house.
- Abandon technology for an entire day. At least once a month.
- Have a picnic with yourself.
- Go camping.
- Go camping alone.
- Go horseback riding.
- Take up a hobby.
- Start a garden.
- Borrow a kid and go to a splash pad.
- Climb a tree.
- Sit in the sand at the beach.
- Sit in the sand in a sandbox.
- Take a geology class.
- Go hiking.
- Creek walking.
- Play a sport.
- Sit on your porch.
- Sit outdoors and sketch what you see.
- Take up writing in a journal.
- Run through a sprinkler.
- Use street chalk.
- Go berry picking.
- Swim. In a lake/ocean/pond.
- Take up photography.
- Find a yoga class on a beach.
- Learn to rock climb.
- Walk your kids to school.
- Go to a Pow-Wow.
- Start bird watching.
- Ride a bike.
- Jump rope.
- Read a good book.
- Snooze in a hammock.
- Exercise outdoors.
- Volunteer for a favorite charity.
- Run/walk a 5k.
- Go creek-walking.
Do you have anything to add? How do you connect with nature?
Photo credit: Creative Commons/Yoann JEZEQUEL