Why This Nature-Based Approach to Self Care Is Important to Healing Ourselves and the Planet
Rewilding. You don’t even have to know what it is to feel a call to nature when you hear it.
Rewilding is a term most commonly associated with restoring the natural processes of nature and animals. It is a progressive approach to conservation to move us closer to a wilder and more biodiverse ecosystem and reverse the environmental decline by letting nature take care of itself.
Like our environment, our own human nature has also radically shifted far from our natural state of being. Quite possibly, a little too far. We now just press a button on our phones to get all of our needs delivered to our doors, and instead of running from tigers, we’re triggered by dings and vibrations from our digital devices.
Enter the concept of rewilding ourselves. It’s about re-establishing our connection with nature and ourselves, examining our cultural paradigms, and healing our planet in the process.RESTORING OUR CONNECTION TO NATURE
“Give me the wild children with their bare feet and sparkling eyes. The wonder-filled glorious mess makers dreaming of mountains and mud, aching to run through a field of stars."Nicole Sowder, A Wilder Child
We all know and love the idea of allowing our children to run wild and free as nature intended them to be. But what about us as adults?
Busyness, life stressors, toxins, and pollution - there is a lot weighing us down and distracting us from our natural selves. And all of that heaviness can not only affect our overall health but also affect our connection to nature and our very own human nature.
Our human nature is to be at peace - to let go of modern and unhealthy societal conditioning and rekindle our connection to nature. Underneath the learned exterior, lives inside of each of us a wilder, more holistic way of life that centers on nature and simple living.
We’ve come so far in this digital age, but the very technology that enables us to do incredible things and connect to people around the world has rendered many to crippling loneliness, feelings of isolation, and an inability to connect to our innate ability to rely on our own natural instincts and gut feelings.
But there is a solution - and that is to rewild ourselves. And while being out in nature is one of the ways to rewild yourself, there are actually more ways that can help you help you feel more connected to your natural state of being.
9 WAYS TO REWILD YOURSELF
1. GET “WILD” IN NATURE.
It’s time to leave your cell phone and all modern conveniences behind, and allow yourself to be present in nature. When was the last time you hugged a tree? Walked barefoot in the grass? Spent time sleeping under the stars?
Research has shown how spending time in nature enhances our immune system, reduces cortisol levels, lowers blood pressure, and increases a good mood and feeling of relaxation. And while we may inherently “know” that, many times we may feel the pressure of life take precedence over our own self-care.
Rewilding yourself doesn’t have to be a planned vacation or a family outing. It could just be a walk around the block or grounding yourself in the grass before dinner. So when nature calls, answer it with an action.
2. PLANT A GARDEN
Planting an edible garden is not only a great way to rewild yourself, but it is an empowering experience to nourish yourself with the food you cultivate. Not only will you be able to have fresh and organic produce within reach, but with the current state of the unsustainable food systems, it’s an important path to becoming self-sustainable.
Turn it into a family project and you’ll also be teaching your kids how to become better stewards of the earth, engage their curiosity, learn to be resourceful, and gain more self-confidence.
3. CONNECT TO WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL ALIVE, GROUNDED, NOURISHED, AND AUTHENTICALLY YOURSELF
As we’ve been so immersed in the modern world, we have lost connection to what truly makes us feel alive. In a world of instant gratification just by looking at our phones, a busy schedule, and constant unnatural stimulation - we have lost the ability to be connected to our natural state of being.
To rekindle the connection to a natural state, make a list of the things you loved as a child - walking barefoot on the ground, playing with rocks and twigs, and biting into a fresh, juicy strawberry you just picked and delighting in its taste.
It seems so simple but the effects can be profound, because once you reawaken those uncomplicated and happy memories, you will see and feel the gaps that may be present in your current life, that separate you from those simple joyful experiences.
4. LEARN ABOUT PLANTS AND WILDLIFE
Learning about the natural world that surrounds you every day is a great way to help you feel connected to the ecosystem as a whole. Challenge yourself to learn the names of birds you see, plants, and trees. Learning about nature, after all, is not just for kids. This is a journey to rewild ourselves as adults.
As you learn about nature, you’ll see how we as humans and all living things are interconnected and develop a deeper appreciation for the natural world.
5. EAT SEASONALLY AND LOCALLY
Eating seasonally and locally is a wonderful way to enjoy the freshest produce at the right time that it was meant to be consumed. It’s not only the way our bodies were designed to consume food so it’s better for your health, but it’s better for the health of the planet.
Due to the use of GMOs and pesticides, in addition to the availability of produce from other countries, you will notice seasonal fruit like blueberries and apples are available in the grocery stores all year round. Humans were not designed to consume these foods all year round, and this impacts our digestion and health and moves us further away from our natural state of being.
When you seek out seasonal fruits and vegetables from local growers, you not only support your local economy, but you learn the life cycles of each edible plant, help the fight to reduce our carbon footprint, and be rewilding yourself in the process.
6. WEAR NATURAL FIBERS
Wearing natural fibers is an important step to rewilding yourself. Our society has become so used to relying on synthetic clothing - chemically produced polyester, acrylic, nylon, and others - that it feels “natural” to us to wear it.
But natural it is not. If you have ever worn a polyester sweater and then put on an organic merino wool sweater the next day, you will feel the difference. Not just in the softness and breathability of the organic merino wool sweater, but you will fill the chemicals and unnaturalness of the synthetic sweater.
One of the reasons people love Nui Organics is not just that our clothing is organic and natural, but it is designed to be worn out in nature. When clothing is natural, minimalistic, and simple, it is breathable and adaptable to the elements and makes it easy for you and your family to feel closer to nature when you are out in it.
7. BRING NATURE INDOORS
There is no reason to wait until you go outside to experience nature. Bringing inside sand from your favorite beach, stones you collected on your walk, flowers from your garden - all helps ground the energy in your home. A home rich in greenery and natural surroundings evokes feelings of peacefulness and reminds you of the nature that surrounds you.
8. MOVE YOUR BODY
When was the last time you danced, walked barefoot in the grass, and just let yourself run free out in nature?
There are so many societal beliefs and judgments on beauty and bodies -whether big or small - that it’s hard to feel free in our own bodies as women.
Letting go of ingrained belief systems and self-judgment is not easy, but the more time you move your body and get outside in nature, the more your “wild child” self will emerge. Moving your body and making a conscious effort to embrace your authentic self will allow you to reconnect to your natural state and feel free.
9. DISCONNECT FROM THE DIGITAL WORLD AND TECHNOLOGY
Doing everything we mentioned above can be healing to your soul - but not as healing if you are still constantly looking at your phone and connected to the digital technology around you.
There is a time and place for everything, and disconnection is an important part of connection. When you are always checking social media or typing on a computer, your nervous system doesn’t have time to relax. You can “be” in nature, and not gain the benefits of actually being in it.
To truly experience a rewilding of yourself, disconnect from all technology as much as you can. Turn off all digital devices at a certain time at night, to allow your body’s natural circadian rhythms to adjust to its natural state. Spend time outside in nature and leave your phone at home.
A WILD WILD WORLD
We live in a modern, “wild” world - and unfortunately this not so natural wild world can steal from our natural state of being and pure consciousness.
This lack of connection is evident when you see the state of the environment. With climate change looming, we must do what we can to take action. Rewilding ourselves is not a selfish act, it’s actually a step closer to healing the planet.