Wintertime brings a host of enjoyable experiences, including holiday gatherings, snowfall, and the perfect excuse to read a good book by a cozy fire. The days grow shorter and the nights longer, resulting in less and less time outside. Decreased natural light and more time spent indoors may result in low mood, isolation, and feelings of depression.

We are all part of God’s creation. Our soul is hardwired to identify with the sights and sounds of the natural world. When we deprive ourselves of the things that are pleasing to our senses, our emotions get depleted and our attitudes suffer. The effect can disrupt our productivity and even our relationships if our routine continually deprives us of what our minds and bodies need. The remedy may be simple. 

Have you ever spent a long day in the office or in class and felt that your mind was foggy and your energy was low, only to be rejuvenated with a breath of fresh air as you left the building?  Being outside, soaking up the sun, and engaging with nature can be an easy way to dispel the doldrums that come from being cooped up inside, no matter what the season!

Here are five simple ways to reconnect with nature and boost your energy and spirits!

Go for a short walk during your workday or while at home.  

Even if you have to bundle up and have only a few minutes to spare, walking allows you to increase your heart rate, breathe fresh air, and enjoy some natural light, even on a cloudy day. 

Create a space to relax outdoors by placing a chair and a small table on your patio. 

Spend time each day engaging your senses. No devices, no phones. Just experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells in your own backyard.

Plant something to nurture throughout the seasons. 

Whether it’s a small garden or a pot of flowers or herbs on your apartment windowsill, getting your hands in the dirt is a great way to connect with nature. Blooms to enjoy for their beauty or herbs to add flavor to your favorite dishes are an added benefit. 

Schedule monthly visits to a local state park for hiking and a picnic. 

The scenery and activity are healthy for body, mind, and spirit. Bring a Frisbee and a couple of friends along to enhance the experience. Monitor the weather during winter months to choose the optimal day to go.

UMHB students with hammocks

Invest in a hammock and enjoy swaying under the trees. 

No large trees? No problem. Purchase a hammock with a stand and place it in a sunny spot reserved for a peaceful moment that may result in a restorative nap. 

It makes sense that engaging with nature would recharge our emotional and spiritual batteries. Take time to get out of your chair or off of your sofa and lift your spirits any time of the year. It’s only natural!

UMHB strives to not only equip students with an education for life, but also to give every student the experience of a lifetime. We invite you to check out our website for more information, or stop by for a visit to see why UMHB would be a great fit for you!