According to the author Florence Williams just 15 minutes outside in nature can make you happier. While it’s easier to picture yourself walking outside and enjoying a gentle breeze in the park at the peak of the summer holidays, you may not feel quite the same way about a stroll in the forest in the middle of winter when it’s blowing a gale. It might be a fantastic occasion to test how waterproof your wellington boots really are, but let’s be honest,even 15 minutes in the great outdoors is not an easy task during the colder months and there’s no guarantee that getting drenched in the rain and slapped by the cold wind will actually make you feel happier about your life. No, you have to admit that while Ms Williams might speak the truth, the theory will have to wait until Spring 2018 to be tested. However are ways and means to cheat the system, if you can’t spend time outside in nature how about letting the outside in? No, that doesn’t mean taking down the wall or losing a few roof tiles! Check out these 6 safe and foolproof tips to spend 15 minutes in nature at home.
1. Get more plants!
Beautiful plants don’t only belong in the garden, there are plenty of elegant houseplants
that can completely change your interior decor. It’s important to remember that when you decide to keep indoor plants you need to pay attention to a variety of features such as how much sunlight, moisture and fresh soil they need. Indeed, while houseplants can revive your interior dead ones don’t quite have the same effect (trust me, I know!) So be sure you know how to maintain them- or pick easy to maintain plants such as a spider plant or a dracaena plant as these are not only easy to manage but they can also clean the air of its toxins.
2. Showcase windows and balconies
Natural sunlight is vital for your health, you’ve probably heard of SAD syndrome that touches people during the colder months of the year. Lack of sunlight can affect your mood and even cause mild cases of winter depression. While this is most common in regions like in the Shetlands or in Norway where daylight becomes extremely scarce in winter it can also happen in urban areas in the main UK regions. It’s important to keep a free access to the sources of sunlight in your home, from keeping your blinds open to choosing the right balustrade system to maximise your balcony. It doesn’t cure SAD, but it reduces its effects significantly!
3. Fresh herbs are a must
You can’t beat a comforting stew in the Winter, whether it’s a rich chicken and tomato stew or an Irish cabbage and potatoes dish. Whatever it is, if you’re thinking of using dried herbs in your dish you’re missing out on the real taste of fresh herbs. It doesn’t take much effort to introduce a fresh herb garden in your kitchen and it can completely change your experience of cooking in winter. When growing your plants indoors light is key so the windowsill in the kitchen is a good place to start- unless it’s just above the heater — in that case it will dry out your plants. Select easy herbs to grow such as basil, coriander or even sage which are beautiful additions to your winter dishes.
4. Bring the shine back to your window panes
When was the last time you cleaned your windows? They may not seem dirty, but small particles accumulate and gradually block out the sunlight. So if your living room looks a little dull and grey it’s time to get your bottle of vinegar and your brown paper out to refresh your window panes
. Make a note to wash your window with a mixture of vinegar and warm water to remove dirt and grease at least twice a year.
5. Paint it green
If you can’t bring nature inside your home you can at least imitate it as best you can. Painting your walls in yellow, sky blue or green can add the touch of happiness that you need to make it through the winter. Make sure though to pick soft pastel colours- if you use bright-coloured paint the result might feel a little too aggressive on the eye and have the opposite effect.
6. Eco-friendly craft at home
Maybe you can’t bring all of nature inside but what about little decorative elements? From creating a shoe tray out of pebbles for your muddy boots to using empty seashells in your decor, you can add natural materials to your home easily and elegantly. Pine cones make a great festive decoration when spray painted and dipped in glitter- make the most of the dry days and get collecting!
How are you going to follow the advice of Florence Williams this winter and get your 15 minutes of nature time? We’re doing it at home with houseplants, natural craft and plenty of sunlight. Make your home a nature catalyst to enjoy winter with a smile!