What if your doctor prescribed time in nature? Carly McCarvill and Grace Cromwell created this handy list of options for getting in touch with nature on the Colgate campus (but it works just about anywhere)…
Get out, regardless of the weather and feel the exhilaration of wind, snow, rain, sunshine, or whatever it may be — on your face
Use an old notebook (not your phone) and “write to yourself,” sketch or jot down your thoughts and feelings, adding insights about nature or yourself as you go on a walk
Play like an eight year-old! Why not build a den or get together with friends and play the games you used to play outside?
Borrow a dog and take it for a walk or play!
Make natural paintings on the snow using natural materials like sticks, stones, and leaves– leave it for the elements to take away
Find a bud on a tree… feel the texture
Clouds are often described as wispy (cirrus), heaped (cumulus) and layered (stratus). What clouds are in the sky today?
Ask a tree a question, be patient and wait for its answer
Find a place outdoors where you feel safe to just “be” – try to be still in nature for three minutes and notice how you feel
Make a sound map – take something to write on outside, place an “x” in the center to represent you, then illustrate or represent the sounds you hear around you using marks on the page
Solitude in nature clarifies thought – carve out some time to yourself and go explore somewhere you’ve never been before
Notice every bird you see
Write a worry onto a stone and throw it into the lake
Re-wild one of your senses – smell everything in nature
Look back on your year and recognise how far you have come.
Get out of Case and go walk down Willow Path, don’t take out your phone until you’re back inside
Ask your doctor for a different kind of mental health prescription and see what happens… (see image below)