Feeling kind of hopeless about getting back to nature because you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day for it to do any good?

Take heart! While there’s a definite benefit to spending the weekend camping in the Poconos, you really can get the positive benefits from spending as little as three minutes outside.

Read on for some tips for how to get back to nature, without having to pack everything up and move to a cabin in the mountains to do it.

If you only have 3 – 5 minutes, try these things:

  • Stand barefoot in the grass. That has the added benefit of introducing some healthy bacteria to your system that gives you an added boost in immunity.
  • Stop to smell the flowers. If you’re walking and see some leafy landscape in bloom, pause for a sniff., It’s amazing how calming certain scents are.
  • Turn your face up to the sun. Turn your head until you can feel the warmth on your cheeks. The bonus here? A little shot of Vitamin D (which most of us need).
  • Daydream at the window. Look out at the trees and greenery. Believe it or not, you see health benefits from this after only looking for 20 seconds! That also helps refocus your eyes if you’ve been staring at screens all day.
  • Walk a little further. If you’re running errands, park a little further away than you need to, just for the added walk outside.

If you have a half hour, then try these:

  • Take a walk. There are parks everywhere, especially in today’s city landscape. Keep a map of greenspaces and if you find you have a little extra time, then take a turn or two around a park. Some pro tips? Saunter. Don’t power walk. Take your time. Keep the phone turned off. Be mindful of where you are and what you’re doing. Pay attention to the nature around you.
  • Eat outside. Anyone up for a picnic? Even taking your lunch outside your office building to a nearby bench gives you the opportunity to claim some fresh air and sunshine for yourself. As a special bonus, being exposed to nature aids your digestion, so your lunch will even sit better for having been eaten outside.
  • Lay on the grass and stare up at the sky. Remember when you were a kid and watching clouds was the height of entertainment? You’d be amazed at how calming and relaxing that activity still is today.

You don’t need a lot of time to see the positive benefits of nature in your life. Even three minutes can be useful for your good health. The trick is to stay mindful. Look for the opportunities when they present themselves to you, and then take them. Getting back to nature is easier than you think.