The past few weeks have caused seismic changes in all of our lives. As citizens of a wider local and global community, we’ve adapted our routines and settled into responsibly social distancing. However, physical distance doesn’t have to mean loss of human connection. With our Better Place Forests community in mind, we’re here to encourage each other to build and nourish meaningful relationships –– with the outdoors, and with those you love. Here are a few of our favorite tips.
Take a walk in nature.
If your local guidelines permit, take a stroll down a nearby trail or path. It’s especially important to connect with nature during mentally stressful times. A quick walk for just 30 minutes a day, even just around the block, can be a great way to soak in fresh air and sunlight while clearing your head. Just remember to practice social distancing. Here’s a photo we took this week during a quick break outside.
Practice daily meditation.
Perhaps the most important person to connect with during times like these is yourself. Quiet, thoughtful periods of contemplation can ease your mind and ground you. Try sitting or laying in a comfortable position, breathing normally, and allowing your mind to wander. Do this for 15 minutes twice a day, or whenever you need a moment of zen. A couple of our favorite meditation apps are Calm and Headspace – both offer free trials to help you get started.
Intentionally set aside time to connect with those you love.
With video conferencing at our fingertips, it’s easier now more than ever to connect with those you love –– no matter the distance. With platforms like Zoom and FaceTime, you can quickly and easily check in on anyone. We recommend setting aside 30 minutes or 1 hour each day as your “relationship with others” time to make sure you get that human connection in daily! Here’s one of our team checking in with each other :)
Test out that green thumb.
At Better Place Forests, we love to connect you to the outdoors… and love talking about how to bring the outdoors inside! From succulents to prayer plants, there’s joy in a pot waiting for you. Now online shopping makes it easier than ever to deliver plants to your doorstep. Check out sites like The Sill and Bloomscape to start your indoor garden (they even offer plant care tips!).
Explore your family history for inspiration.
To connect to your loved ones, it can be especially interesting to connect with your family tree. Investigate family records, look back at albums, and reach out to your relatives to hear their favorite family stories. By learning about your family’s legacy, you can become even more deeply connected to your own. Try updating your family tree with new information and interesting stories on sites like Ancestry.com.
Take a class for you.
Another fun way to build that connection to self –– learn! Whether you’ve always wanted to pick up yoga or learn about business fundamentals, now is the perfect time to learn new skills. Try an online class at Coursera. Take your pick from one of the 450 free courses that the Ivy Leagues —Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania—are offering digitally across a range of topics. Pick up a new fitness routine with Echelon, Peloton, Planet Fitness or CorePower Yoga as they offer classes for free.
Find a penpal.
This old tradition is due for a comeback. First, think of a person who you haven’t connected with in a while. Then take out your pen and paper and write that person a thoughtful letter. Let them know what’s going on in your life or what made you think of them. Take a chance to tell them you’re proud of them, care for them and admire them. Your penpal will be delighted to receive your letter and will be eager to write back. What a great opportunity for a memorable keepsake, and a sustained connection over time.
Plan an exciting trip you can look forward to.
Right now we’re all cooped up and need something to look forward to. Now is a great time to start making exciting plans for the future. Start by making a list of all the amazing places you want to explore. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. Maybe there’s a National Park you’ve always wanted to visit or a trail you want to hike. Then think about who you’d like to go with, call them up and plan on making a beautiful memory together. Plan now, then once the world bounces back, make those plans a reality.
It’s important to remember during trying times that you’re not alone. You’re part of a community that cares about you, and we’re already looking forward to when we can reconnect in-person. Until then, we hope these tips will help you make the most of our current circumstances!
Do you have tips you'd like to share? We'd love to hear them. Go to our Facebook page and share with us.