Feeling a little disheartened? Coming out of an especially rough year, it’s not a surprise if your mental health isn’t what it used to be, but don’t go blaming 2020 for your problems just yet. It might not be the only reason you aren’t your usual cheerful self, not to mention those of us who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)—hello winter depression…
Exposure to nature has never been more important than it is today. Between lockdown and working from home, we’re spending more time than ever before indoors and away from the natural world. We’re missing out on the essential psychological and physiological benefits from exposure to trees, fresh air, mountains, and bodies of water. However, it’s not all doom and gloom thanks to a philosophy called “Biophilia” that is reshaping how we think about and interact with our surroundings. Essentially, biophilia is changing the way we live and work within the built environment, and can be defined as humanity’s innate need to connect with nature.
How Can You Use Biophilia in Your Life?
1) Move your work surface and adjust your drapes, shades, or blinds to get maximum natural light from the nearest window. Even if you’re not getting a view, you can still get some sunshine.
2) Add houseplants to your living space. If you can’t see trees outside, you can still enjoy greenery inside. Choose varieties that will grow in your lighting conditions and are non-toxic to your pets. Our garden centers can help you pick the right one for your space!
3) Grow herbs or microgreens on your kitchen counters or windowsill. Victory gardens are making a comeback with people seeking healthy and sustainable food solutions during the pandemic, but those who lack outdoor space can still cultivate a mini-garden inside.
4) Include an indoor water feature into your space, which can provide style, tranquility, and a gentle acoustic element.
5) Incorporate paintings inspired by your favorite landscapes or photos of nature—it’s been shown that even representations of nature have biophilic benefits!
6) Natural scents can enhance your space and well-being. Lavender has been used for centuries as a natural stress reducer, and eucalyptus can potentially relieve coughs. There are many more properties that can be explored through aromatherapy.
7) Change the bulbs in your lamps and light fixtures to full-spectrum circadian models that mimic the sun’s path through the day. This can help with both mood and sleep.
8) Consider using wood and stone finishes in your furniture and decoration. Keep in mind that nature is not just about views, but also about texture.
9) Use earthy tones like greens, browns, blues, whites, and gold. Think about using naturally patterned wallpaper—experts suggest irregular patterns that resemble nature, but advise against geometric patterns, as these are man-made.
10) Go outside! Even just 15 minutes per day can do wonders for your mind and body.