Two weeks ago, I unexpectedly had to self-isolate for 10 days. Living at the top of a block of flats, no garden to spend time in, I soon noticed my longing for the outdoors.

In my view, it is vital we remain connected to nature especially during these tough times. Based on my recent experience, I have complied a list of three simple ways to maintain such a relationship. I would also like to touch upon the reasons why I think this is important.

Why bother?

Over the years, I have personally grown to have a great appreciation for our environment. Although nature has no defined purpose, it affects us all on a daily basis. It’s entwined with our basic needs of energy, food and oxygen.

Creating a connection therefore consists of an acknowledgment of its significance, which is fundamental in relation to the issue of the climate crisis. On a personal level, there are also many health benefits. The British Charity ‘Mind’ provides a great list of examples that I would recommend taking a look at. For others, the connection may present itself as a spiritual experience or perhaps be a tool for mindfulness. And so, there are a vast number of reasons why this is something worth developing.

3 Ways to Connect to Nature Indoors

As I briefly mentioned at the beginning of this post, I was stuck in my flat unexpectedly. Consequently, the tips I am going to share are based on my own experiences of being unable go outside at all.

They are all simple in practise and, considering you are able to read this post, should also be accessible.

1. Open the blinds (and window/s)

This is a rather mindless task but during these winter months it can be easy not to do it immediately. When you do open your blinds, it’s a good idea to take a look at your surroundings. Is there any wildlife you can spot? Any birds flying past in the sky?

I live in a very built-up part of the city and so would naturally assume that there isn’t much wildlife to be aware of. But after I started taking care to be observant, I noticed different birds now and then on the roof top opposite. When I did spot one, I would research it soon after to discover the species. This strengthens my knowledge and subsequently my relationship with the outdoors.

I decided to put “window/s” in brackets as, on cue, the British weather has supplied us with an abundance of rainy spells and so it’s not always appropriate to leave them open. However, if there is an opportunity to do so, I would recommend it. Breathe in the fresh air and actively listen to the sounds being projected. It could be that you are unable to hear wildlife noises, but perhaps something you can hear are the rustling of trees. I find this to also be an effective mindfulness exercise.

2. Watch nature programmes/videos online

Although I didn’t get to do this as often as I’d have liked, it is such a great form of escapism. I adore the Blue Planet series, as an example, as it provides an insight into a world I would not experience on a daily basis.

In terms of how this will help you to reconnect with nature, video form can be immersive and take you out of reality and into a new one. Not only this but documentaries in particular present factual information that cultivate a deeper understanding and subsequent connection with our surroundings. Likewise, this gained knowledge can be inspiring.

3. Listen to nature sounds

I am not necessarily suggesting that you sit down and purely listen to nature sounds (unless that’s something you’re interested in doing of course!) but simply playing them in the background occasionally.

Lately, I’ve been waking up to a mediation playlist that frequently features outdoor noises and I find it to be really soothing. Because of the relaxation elements, it can be something to unwind to in the evenings. It doesn’t necessarily have to be sounds of wildlife, it could be of the water running down a stream for example.

It brings a sense of connection that doesn’t require active engagement and so is easy to attain.

(BONUS!) 4. Interact with house plants

Naturally, I had to make this option a bonus idea as not everyone owns house plants. I am blessed with a spider plant that grows incredibly quickly and doesn’t require too much attention. Despite this, I interact with it daily. I am unashamed to say that I speak to it often and check the leaves for signs that it may be wilting.

Caring in this way boosts my mood and allows me to admire its form, adding to my sense of connection.

Final thoughts…

Maintaining a relationship with nature when stuck inside is so incredibly beneficial: I can’t stress it enough. It kept me positive and mindful during my time indoors and I am grateful to have discovered these methods.

Although I am no longer in isolation, I am going to be using some of these ideas on a daily basis regardless as they are ideal to participate in when taking a break.

What do you think?

Don’t be shy – let me know your thoughts in the comments!

These ideas are based upon my own habits and experience during isolation and I am convinced there are many other ways to connect to our environment while remaining indoors. Let me know if you have any additional ideas or if you have tried any of these methods out for yourself!

6 replies on “Maintaining Connection with Nature while Indoors

  1. These are great ideas! I’m lucky to have a little outdoor space, although I’ve been poorly with some kind of chest infection for a few weeks so going outside exacerbates it. I’ve been looking into getting some house plants! ☺️

  2. I am also the proud owner of a number of very prolific spider plants, to the extent that I have recently had to give a number of them away!

    Your post inspired me to trim some of the wilted, browned leaves off mine and give it a good watering. In the process I noticed that one of the “spiderlings” or baby spider plants growing from it has actually rooted itself in the soil! Normally they just dangle in the air until I trim them off and plant them in independent pots, so this was nice to see.

    Some lovely and accessible ideas in this post. Thank you for sharing.

    1. No way! My mum has so many too and does the same thing of potting and giving them away – hence why I now own one myself! This was so lovely to hear about you becoming more observant towards your plants, it’s really lifted my mood, thank you for commenting. 🙂

  3. Before COVID-19 gaming was considered a bit of a waste of time for the general population. I help a lot of people who have all sorts of impairments and, what has surprised me is that connecting through online games is becoming more popular. There is so much choice for so many different devices. I encourage people to explore what interests them. The media is always scaring the public about the dangers of the VR world but, when used correctly, games can be an inspiration and a point of contact for people isolating.

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