10 Ways to Bring the Outdoors Inside
Warmer weather’s here, but that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone’s spending more time outdoors.
Between current restrictions on where people can be and just the rhythms of everyday life, it can feel as if you’re stuck indoors for much longer than you’d like to be. Even when you’re indoors, though, connecting with the outside world can provide a great deal of relaxation, comfort, and a boost to your mood.
If you’re stuck in your home, here are 10 ways you can bring the outdoors inside:
Change Bed Sheets
Your bed sheets collect a lot of sweat, dead skin cells, and hair, which can lead to a less-than-clean sleeping situation.
Give your home an instant refresher by taking a few minutes to change your sheets. If you’ve got some more time before you’re planning to lie down, leave the sheets and pillows off your mattress for a few hours to air out.
When you’re ready to put clean sheets on your bed, give your comforter and blankets a good shake, and fluff your pillows a bit. You can even spray everything with a light fabric refresher spray to eliminate odors and add a nice scent to your room.
Natural light is an immediate mood-booster, especially after months of early darkness and gray days.
If you have to spend your days indoors, you might as well make the most of the daylight you can get and open your curtains!
Open the curtains shortly after you wake up in the morning and sit in the sunlight while you drink your coffee, have breakfast, or catch up on the news. This will help you get the most benefit from that natural light and help improve your mood all day.
If you notice it’s getting too hot with all that sunlight, close the curtains in rooms receiving direct sunlight in the afternoons, but keep other curtains open.
It’s hard to enjoy the natural sunlight if your windows are grimy from a long winter of snow and salt.
When you have some extra time, give your windows a good scrub with some water and white vinegar mixed in a spray bottle. Spray down the window and wipe with a clean, soft microfiber cloth for a streak-free shine.
For even better results and a fully refreshed feeling, take down curtains and launder them while you wash the windows, and give any mini blinds a once-over with a dusting wand.
Add Some Plants
Nothing says “bring the outdoors inside” like bringing actual live plants into your home.
Flowers, succulents, ferns, or even small trees all work great indoors if you pick the right species and care for them. Depending on your home’s orientation to the light, you may want to select plants that require little or no direct sunlight and minimal watering unless you plan to tend to your plants daily.
Keep some fresh flowers in a vase on your kitchen table or desk, a hanging plant in the corner of your living room, or a small rubber tree plant in the dining room. The options are limited only by what you’re willing to care for!
Enjoy Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without all the added sugars you’ll find in that candy bar sitting in your kitchen cabinet.
While you can find nearly any fruit in the supermarket no matter the time of year, fruit is best enjoyed when it’s in season locally. The farther your fresh fruit has to travel from the field where it’s picked, and the longer it sits on the shelves, the less tasty it will be.
If possible, purchase your fresh fruit from local growers and enjoy it as soon after your purchase as possible.
Make the scenery outside a little more interesting with some window art. This project is especially great if you have children who you’d like to keep occupied for a while.
You can use a variety of media to create art on your windows; just make sure whatever you use is washable and easily removable.
Cut colored construction paper into shapes and use clear tape to create a mosaic on your windows. Let your kids draw on poster board with markers, crayons, stickers, or paint to create scenes and write messages.
You can even use washable poster paint and paint directly onto your windows. This one is especially exciting for kids who are used to being told to not paint on the windows.
Take a Virtual Tour
You may not be able to get outside to visit all the parks and outdoor experiences you’d normally have in the warmer months, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore some cool places.
There are tons of virtual tours and experiences online to explore, including American national parks, sites such as Stonehenge in England, and even ride-alongs of theme park rides such as the ones at Walt Disney World.
When you’re feeling that little bit of wanderlust, sit down and enjoy being momentarily transported to a new, even exotic, location you might never see otherwise.
Just because you have to be inside doesn’t mean you can’t get a camping experience.
If you have room and a tent, set one up in your living room and roll out some sleeping bags. If you don’t have room, use sleeping bags, comforters, or blankets and make a go of your indoor campout.
Rather than using your indoor lighting, use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights, eat camping food, and tell scary stories. You get all the fun without the mosquito bites!
Rather than listening to music all day or turning the TV on for background noise, play some nature sounds.
Crashing waves, gently falling rain, crickets, or even whale songs can create a calming atmosphere when you can’t get outside. Whatever your favorite part of being outdoors is, you can probably find a nature sounds track to go with it!
You can even set up your nature sounds to correspond with the time of day, such as bird songs for the early morning and owls and crickets as you move toward bedtime.
Scent is one of the most powerful triggers of memory, and the things we smell when we’re outdoors are no exception.
If you’re craving some outdoor calm while inside, you can diffuse essential oils (But be careful with these around children and pets!), burn incense, or light a naturally scented candle. Pine, lavender, eucalyptus, and rose are all great scents to give you that feeling of being outdoors while you’re still at home.
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