The University of Derby published the Nature Connection Handbook in May 2022 which provides useful information and steps on how to reconnect to nature on an individual level. One of the best ways to improve your nature connection is to experience your surroundings through your senses. What can you hear, see, smell and touch? Spend time listening to birdsong, or study and take pictures of flowers, or collect fallen leaves and feel the differences in their shapes and textures. Nature connection is more than just going for a walk in a scenic location; you have to try and connect with your surroundings on a sensual and emotional level to start feeling the benefits of your time spent outdoors. You don’t necessarily need to have knowledge of what you are hearing or seeing (although it doesn’t hurt to know), it is more about how you feel during the experience.
There are several easy ways to start establishing your connection to nature. Simply examining the stars in the night sky, basking in the sunlight on a warm day or noticing the signs of the changing seasons are all ways of reconnecting. Improving your surroundings by encouraging wildlife into your garden, or bringing potted plants into your home are easy and accessible ways to find your connection. Creating biophilic spaces within you homes and work spaces can not only help you feel your nature connection, but it can also help improve concentration, creativity and productivity.
My personal favourite way to reconnect with nature is to celebrate it. You can join in with already established nature celebrations such as the summer solstice or yule. Or you can be creative and find your own way to celebrate the joy you get from being outdoors. Hopefully, it won’t be long until we can start planning the first BBQ or garden party of the year. This could be the perfect time to take in your surroundings and realise just how much colour is in your garden, or how many birds you can hear.
The way you choose to find your connection with nature can be a very personal and meaningful journey. It is never too late to start your journey and begin experiencing all the benefits that nature can provide.