In addition to cabin fever, many people are experiencing nature withdrawal. It’s normal and natural to want to get outside — just make sure to follow your local community’s mandates. While you can get outdoors for some exercise in most places, you can also bring some outside flair inside so you can get your nature fix. After all, you’ll want to reap benefits like reduced stress and improved working memory from being out in nature. Try these ideas:
You don’t need to be an ace green thumb to own a thriving plant. If you’ve never had a plant before, consider ones like cacti, aloe, snake plants, pothos and ZZ plants. All are easy to care for and come in various sizes.
If you feel ready for a next-level plant, consider a bird of a paradise, fiddle leaf fig, monstera or string of pearls, suggests long-time plant owner Annmarie Mercieri Colonna. “These are more statement plants and can get rather large if you’re looking for a lush look,” she says. Whatever you choose, many local stores deliver right now so you don’t need to go out. There are also subscription services like Bloomscape.
If you worry that any plant you attempt to parent will die, then consider buying a fake plant. You can order realistic looking ones from websites like Pottery Barn, CB2 and even IKEA or your local hardware store. They might not help clean the air, but they’ll still be nice to admire.
Another low-maintenance option, moss walls are literally that: A square or rectangular panel you hang on your wall. It’s best to pick a spot that does not get direct sunlight and gets some humidity, such as a bathroom (or you can mist it regularly). With proper care, moss walls can last up to 25 years.
A vertical garden is fairly simple to start. You can buy containers and find tutorials online. Then all you need is soil and seeds. Be sure to hang it so it’s easy to water.
Find a soy candle that reminds you of nature. Think: wood, floral, tree and other earthy scents. Light it anytime you want to change the mood of your room from blah to cozy winter cabin or summery beach day. You could do the same with a diffuser and some essential oils.
Throw pillows, kitchen towels, linens, blankets and even entire couches come in patterns and colors to make you think of the great outdoors: leaves, flowers, palm trees, vegetables, fruit and all shades of greens and browns. Or you could use grasscloth wallpaper, which is made from natural fibers.
Whether you prefer a painting of the beach, an enlarged photo you took on a safari or something more abstract with shades of blues and greens, artwork can bring a natural feel to any room.
“Plant terrariums are a true slice of nature indoors,” says Dan Jones, founder of Terrarium Tribe. “Far more than just an isolated houseplant, they’re an accurate sample of a natural environment.” You can fill these glass containers with soil, gravel, moss, pretty rocks and plants. Ones like baby tears, starfish flower cactus, spiderwort and ferns work well in terrariums.
You don’t need a reason to pick up a bouquet next time you’re at the store or wish to order flowers online. They may not last forever, but change the water daily, and you’ll have a bright pop of color for about a week.
Cue a playlist of sounds like rainstorms, running water, rustling leaves, ocean waves or bird songs. “It’ll bring the sounds of nature into your home rather than all the work of caring for a plant or dusting off a faux one every week,” Colonna says.
At Christmas, many people decorate with branches from fir trees. Why not do something like that year-round? When you venture outside, pick up any attractive or interesting rocks, branches, leaves and other elements. Or how about the seashells you brought home from your last vacation and stowed away? Bring them out and arrange them for everyone to see.
Most herbs grow well in small containers on a windowsill. And, once they’re ready, you get to cook with them. Try basil, thyme, mint, parsley and chives.