We can all get stuck in a rut, not sure how to add a little more nature into our everyday lives. Few people really feel in touch with the natural world. Part of it is because we spend so much time inside, sitting at a desk. To get myself out of the rut and more in touch with nature, I try to find small things to remind me everyday of what’s waiting for me outside. Here are some of the few things that keep me in touch with nature while I work 9-5:

1. A bucket list

Write down your bucket list of outdoor activities and make a point to keep it in your office. Check things off as you go. When you see it, you’ll be reminded of your great adventure, and you can use it as a tool to keep planning the next adventure even when work gets a little overwhelming. Keeping a bucket list in my office helps me remember that even though day-to-day can get mundane – there’s always something out there waiting for me.

 2. A scenic commute

I know, I know. No one wants to add to their commute. But if it’s possible, avoid the traffic jams and find a place with some beautiful scenery. For years, I could detour my commute and drive through a reservation. It added about 10-15 minutes, but it was just me, the trees, and the winding road. Or commute a different way. Sometimes I’ll bike to work. Walking, biking, and running are not only great for you, but for the environment as well!

3. A relaxing break

Sometimes it’s not possible to leave your desk. But if it is – get outside for lunch! In the nice weather, talk a walk around the block. A little green space can usually be found even in major cities and congested areas. If you aren’t so lucky and you work in a corporate park or industrial area, try this trick: Plug in some headphones and listen to nature sounds. If nothing else, you can spend a few minutes visualizing yourself outside – even pretending can have help you feel a little more in touch with nature.

4. An indoor forest

Plants not only provide fresh-air benefits, but surrounding yourself with plants will help you create a peaceful office space. While it’s not the same as hearing rustling trees and feeling a breeze, a few plants can lift your mood, increase your productivity, and act as your indoor forest. Adding a terrarium to my desk was easy because they require such little upkeep. Whatever plants make you happy, add a few to your desk. You’ll be more focused and enjoy having a little reminder of nature in your professional space.

5. Some time to unplug

Turn off the cell phone, stop checking your email, and take some time for yourself, whether it’s going for a walk around a park, watching the sunset, or sitting under a tree with a good book. I find that technology distracts me from what’s really important, and an hour without it each day helps me unwind. And on the weekends when I’m spending time outside, I purposely turn my phone off or leave it on airplane mode. There’s no reason for a distraction with the world at your fingertips.

 

Adding a little wild to your week can go a long way to improve your health, your productivity, and your overall happiness. So don’t wait! Try a few different things until you find yourself a routine that helps you get a little more wild in your work week.

Author Brad Neirenberg

Brad Nierenberg is an outdoors guy who happens to live in the city during the week. When he's not working, he finds time to enjoy the wilderness, explore, and write about his experiences on his blog trailstreesandskiis.com.

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