The typical modern lifestyle is often filled with elements that induce stress and anxiety. At the same time, activities like outdoor recreation are deemed non-essential and get squeezed out of our schedules. We acquire new devices and fill our hours with screen time. Our minds are saturated with information and status updates regarding matters we can’t control; our bodies settle into sedentary routines of limited mobility.
These problems are often most evident among city dwellers. When your daily routines take place within the urban jungle, it’s hard to inject some exercise and natural influences into your life to provide balance and offset these negative effects. But with some effort, it’s possible to push back and improve your physical and mental health. Here are some options you can explore.
Changes around the house
We spend a lot of our time indoors. And with the pandemic encouraging social distancing while triggering a shift towards remote work across many occupations, that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.
However, for most people, the bulk of those indoor hours are now spent in a single location. This creates an opportunity to effect significant change even with small home improvements. Clearing out a spare room and placing your yoga mat, dumbbells, and other fitness equipment there will give you access to a quick workout all day long. It becomes easier to stick to your daily exercise regimen.
Natural elements can also be brought indoors and enhanced through careful design considerations. Patio glass enclosures can create a solarium, allowing more daylight into your home and giving you a more controlled environment where you can grow a variety of plants. If you have limited floor space, a vertical garden can be the perfect arrangement to accommodate indoor plants and herbs.
Finding the right places
Of course, not every city is a bleak sprawl of concrete and steel. And we don’t all have the means or flexibility required to make a lot of home improvements.
How well do you know your city? It might not be home to a famous garden, but most contemporary urban planning involves the use of green spaces and play areas. Conduct some research on the internet, or explore within a reasonable distance during your spare time. You may find a less-known local space where you can enjoy some physical activity and exposure to the outdoors on a regular basis.
A local playground can provide the perfect setting for you to incorporate both into your daily routine. The sight of an adult crawling around or hanging on bars in a children’s area might seem weird at first. But these are exactly the sort of natural movements that are sorely missed in our daily routines.
Our bodies are designed to be capable of far more than sitting, standing, walking, and lying down. Yet as we spend most of our lives indoors, settling within that limited range of activities can put you in a cage with invisible bars. If your home isn’t a suitable venue for exercise, don’t let cultural judgment hold you back from making use of public spaces to move naturally.
Building the right habits
When you live in the city, finding the right location for increased activity and a connection with nature is half the battle. The rest of the equation is about finding time. Having a fitness center within your home can be great, but only if you make a point of using it each day. Discovering a hidden green space in the city is an opportunity to bring nature back into your life, but it goes to waste if you never find time to visit.
Many people will find that a simple shift to remote work doesn’t automatically improve their work-life balance or give them time to do everything they’ve been wanting to do. You still need to take control of your time and build habits with intent. Fortunately, these are skills you can practice and improve upon.
Developing a sense of structure when you work from home is essential to maximizing your productivity. It lets you focus on work, get tasks done more quickly, and enjoy more free time. Implementing a system such as habit stacking allows you to link positive new behaviors to existing routines. It will ensure that some of your free time is always spent on doing things that have a beneficial effect on your life.
Living indoors in the big cities of today can expose you to a lot of restricting or negative influences. Take these steps to counteract them and bring varied physical activity and a connection to nature back into your life.