Nature gives us joy on many levels. Spending time in nature, or ‘green space’, is a great way to reduce your stress levels, improve your concentration and generally help you to feel happier.
The wellbeing benefits from green space could be even greater at this time, because of increased stress people are experiencing. Access to nature is a valuable resource that we can all use to help maintain our wellbeing.
Accessible public green space has become even more important recently. Since physical distancing measures began, you may have noticed more people using local streets and public open spaces. Parks, trails and other public green spaces are more popular than ever. We know that in urban areas, apartment precincts and smaller houses, many people do not have the luxury of outdoor space, and we acknowledge that parks, public gardens and other local green spaces are vital for health and wellbeing. Particularly in urban areas, even small ‘doses’ of green space are beneficial.
Take advantage of the benefits associated with nature
- SA parks remain open for daily exercise, walking dogs, and spending time in nature. For those not required to self-isolate, visit a local park to stay active and healthy, while social distancing.
- Find a sunny spot in your backyard and soak up some Vitamin D – listen to the sounds of nature, connect with family and friends on the phone or online, or have a picnic in the backyard. Many people are planting fruits and vegetables at home.
- For children, nature and green space are exciting places full of magic, learning, adventure and fun, among many other things. There are many ways that children can interact with nature while adhering to current social distancing requirements; a daily walk to the park, learning how to grow things or playing a game in the garden are just a few examples.
- Find a place where you can view, even through a window, vegetation (green space) or a body of water (blue space). This can provide a micro-break, offering mental restoration that is proven to be better than a view of concrete. Even if your view does not have a lot of vegetation or water, a view of the sky can allow engagement with nature’s dynamics.
- Step outside and take to the streets and local shops around your home – reduced car traffic, more active transport and better air quality and less noise is making local streets safer and more usable for residents.
- Look for ways to do more urban greening inside homes, on balconies and in backyards during this time, and talk to your local council about how much you value green open space.
- Contribute to a citizen science project in the great outdoors – citizen science benefits both science and society, and personal benefits may include learning, personal enjoyment, social benefits and influencing policy.
- Here are 20 ways for families to connect through nature.
For more ideas
For more ideas, visit the websites or social media pages of National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia, Trails SA, Walking SA, and Healthy Parks Healthy People SA.