By Emily Gibson.
Spending time outdoors is important for both physical and mental health. Being surrounded by plants and trees can help us relax, unwind and cool down outside while also providing the many health benefits of fresh air and sun.
There are many ways to enjoy your backyard. Pitching a tent for a night of backyard camping is fun for the whole family, while planting a garden can become a relaxing hobby that also saves you money on groceries. And with a few DIYs, you can build your own green oasis in your back or front yard, bringing the beauty of nature right home with you.
The Benefits of the Outdoors
Any seasoned camper will tell you the many benefits of spending long periods of time outdoors.
Being outside is proven to boost physical and mental health. Spending a few hours unwinding among the trees, sunshine and sounds of wildlife can help you feel more rejuvenated and relaxed. Plus, the fresh air and sun is good for your physical wellbeing.
For kids, studies have shown that exposure to green spaces can lead to a decreased risk of psychiatric disorders in adolescence. But with today’s culture of social media, video games and screen time, it can be hard to get kids interested in going to play outside.
How can we encourage kids — and ourselves — to enjoy all that nature has to offer? Part of the answer can involve making green spaces more fun, accessible and relaxing.
Get Outside at Home
You don’t have to go on a long trek to find green space — in fact, you can bring that green space right into your home. Making a few changes to your front and back yards can make these spaces awesome and relaxing places for your entire family to use and enjoy.
We’ve compiled a list of green spaces to consider adding to your home.
These gardens aim to make you feel surrounded by greenery, as if you’re walking out into a forest. Planting large plants, shrubs, bushes, flowers and other greens in tiered planters can help you create a dynamic garden that is both visually stunning and relaxing.
A treehouse is a super fun way to get kids excited about spending time in the backyard — but it can also be a super fun space for adults to hang out! Installing a treehouse into a large, sturdy tree is a great way to enjoy all that your backyard has to offer. As a bonus for campers: it can make you feel like you’re staying in a log cabin out in the wilderness!
Pond or Water Features
You don’t have to be hiking alongside a stream to get that pleasant and relaxing sound of a babbling brook. Installing a pond or backyard water feature doesn’t have to mean sinking thousands of dollars into something extravagant — it can be as complex or simple as you want to make it.
That excitement of spotting a new species of bird on a long hike? You can bring that right into your backyard. Setting up a wildlife habitat in your backyard means purchasing the plants, living spaces and feeders that can cater to your neighborhood’s ecosystem. Once you’ve built your space, you can even get it certified by the National Wildlife Federation.
Green Spaces: What if I Live in An Apartment or Condo?
Though it might be discouraging to not have a large yard to work with, living in an apartment or condo doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the many benefits of nature and green space.
Plant walls are a great way to create a living, beautiful green space inside of your home or on your balcony. Creating a plant wall involves hanging planting boxes from floor to ceiling, either by investing in a trellis-like structure or building one large planter box on the wall. You can pick flowers, plants or cacti to inhabit the box and bring your living plant wall to life.
Window or balcony boxes are a solution for the avid gardener who has been left without a garden. These boxes can be easily hung over the windowsill or balcony railing and filled with herbs, plants or flowers. You can reap the emotional (and sometimes financial!) benefits of gardening without having to have a big yard to house your garden.
At the end of the day, all you need to enjoy the green spaces in your home is an appreciation for the outdoors. Whether you choose to go big and build an intricate split-level garden that surrounds you on all sides, or want to keep it simple with a few lawn chairs and a fire pit, taking the time to get outside will have proven benefits for you and your family.
For more tips on green spaces you can add to your home, check out the following infographic, provided courtesy of hippo.com: