18 March 2020

6 ways to bring in nature whilst stuck indoors

If you’re unable to leave your home, a dose of nature can improve your wellbeing.

By Meryl Westlake

Rock Garden succulent

Whether you’re isolating due to coronavirus or for any other reason, being unable to get outside can be a real detriment to your wellbeing.

Here are some tips to bring the great outdoors into your home.

Pink flowers
Agius Evolution Garden Credit: Ellen McHale/RBG Kew

1. Houseplants

Being next to plants is good for us.

They can improve our mood. Some studies suggest that by touching and smelling plants, you can reduce your stress and anxiety. 

Even the act of gardening, repotting and tending to your plants can be a great distraction and form of light exercise.

If you’re anticipating you’ll be at home for health reasons, it can be a good idea to invest in house plants like a Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) or seeds for a windowsill box.

Watch the film below to learn more about the positive effects of houseplants on your mental health from James Wong and Kew expert, Carly Cowell.

2. A room with a view

Set up a comfy space near a window so that you can get as much natural light as possible.

If you can, pick a window that has a view of nature; birds, trees, grass and sky can all keep you relaxed.

A robin perched on a branch
Robin ©Alessandro Ranzo/Unsplash

3. Update your screen savers

Studies have observed that just looking at a picture of green space, compared to a more industrial one, can reduce your stress levels.

If you don’t have a suitable view, set your phone screen or desktop screensaver to a gorgeous natural scene.

Feel free to use Kew’s Instagram account (@kewgardens) or Wakehurst's Instagram account(@wakehurst_kew) for inspiration.

Blossom at the Temperate House
Blossom at the Temperate House © RBG Kew

4. Gardens and fresh air

Stand outside and try a short de-stressing technique to connect with your natural surroundings. Take a deep breath and focus on:

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can touch
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell
  • 1 thing you can taste.

If you’re feeling well enough, and have a private garden, try a little bit of light gardening, or walk around to keep your body moving.

If you are unable to step outside for fresh air, try to open the windows around your home to keep the air circulating.

Blossoms at Kew
Blossoms at Kew, Ellen McHale/RBG Kew

5. Fruit and veg

When anticipating being stuck at home, you might be wondering if you have the right food supplies.

A range of edible plants can contribute to a good immune system and mood balance.

When you’re shopping or having food delivered, include a sensible amount of fruits, vegetables and nuts; make a colourful range of choices.

Consider leafy greens, citrus fruits, almonds or potatoes. Take a look at what you have already in your storecupboard; ingredients like turmeric, garlic and ginger are plants too.

Don’t forget, frozen vegetables are very nutritious and a good idea if you’re at home for a long period of time.

A large lumpy red tomato growing on a green vine with some smaller orange and green tomatoes
'Outdoor girl' tomato, Kitchen Garden, © Helena Dove

6. Stay part of our community 

We are passionate about plants and fungi, and are committed to sharing pictures, stories and films with you on Kew Gardens Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or Wakehurst Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

If you are isolated at home, know that you are always welcome to join our social community. 

Whether you're seeking some light relief, facts about the plant and fungal kingdom or just beautiful pictures, we'll provide the content and opportunities for you to join in.

We'd love to hear from you. 

The Temperate House
The Temperate House

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