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How to Fit Nature into Everyday Life When You Live in a City

If you’ve ever taken a walk to de-stress, you know the powerful effect getting outside can have on making you feel refreshed mentally, emotionally, and physically. But if you live in a busy city, finding nature to help you recharge can be a challenge.

Besides the fresh air and exercise you get from exploring nature, you can also boost your productivity and creativity. It can also help you deal with the smog and air pollution in your city. Even if you have a busy schedule or live in an urban environment, you can still fit nature into your day-to-day.

  • Find a go-to green space. Spending more time in nature is easier if you know where you can find places that have grass, flowers, trees, and even some outdoor critters to enjoy. Take a look around your neighborhood for a green space you can reliably go to for your outdoor fix. For me, it’s this little itty bitty park a couple blocks from my apartment. It’s not the nicest park in the city, but is close by and a good spot to head to when I want to read in the grass.
  • Search for spots near your work. See if there are any parks, or even rooftop gardens, near your office so that you can immerse yourself in nature during your lunch break.
  • Add nature to your commute. If there are parks or other green spaces close to your commute, divert your route a little bit to walk or bike through them. If you take public transportation, consider if you can walk for part of your commute and get on at a later stop so that you can spend some time outdoors. If you drive, you’re better off trying the other suggestions on this list.
  • Look for big nature spots. Many cities have at least one large park, or you can also look for arboretums, conservatories, and botanical gardens. These places are great because you can get some literal space between yourself and city streets. 
  • Go digital. Even just adding a beautiful nature scene to your phone or computer background can have a calming effect. You can also try listening to nature tracks while your work or when you’re spending time in local green spaces (to drown out the noise of cars going by or honking).

Even if you live in a big, sprawling city, chances are you have some major nature spots within a couple hours drive (or even bus or train ride). Make plans to head to more remote outdoor spots at least once a month so that you also get the experience of totally being immersed in nature.

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