Nature? Who even has time for nature?
Nature is that thing we drive past in the local park on the way to work. Nature is those images behind an inspirational quote that we scroll past on social media. Nature is that stuff that we vaguely remember from our childhood camping trips, but haven’t seen in years.
With our technologically-focused lives, we have more of a need than ever to remind ourselves of things that don’t need to be plugged in.
Here are seven reasons why it’s time you and nature made acquaintances again (also, there might be cake).
1. Those deep breaths.
Think about the refreshing scent of trees, wet grass and winter-y wood fires. It’s enough to fill your lungs with health and happiness. Getting out in nature and taking a deep breath can do as much good for your body as a spa treatment. Breathe in. Breathe out. After a weekend of that much breathing, you’ll feel like a new person.
2. It helps with depression and anxiety.
Taking some time away from your desk and heading into the wild is good for your mental health. Why do you think that David Attenborough always sounds so cheery?
Humans have a naturally deep connection with the outdoors – it’s the reason we love a building with a good view. Looking at a view of the countryside is good… but walking around in it is better.
3. You’ll find your new happy place.
I recently found mine in Sassafras Village in the Dandenong Ranges, a gorgeous strip of shops with nineteenth century charm. My happy place was located spoon-deep in a chocolate éclair from Cafe de Beaumarchais.
It was also located inside the scent of the Soak Bathecary next door. And the chocolate coffee beans at the Tea Leaves shop next to that. And the shop next to that… and the shop next to that…
4. It can be a workout without feeling like one.
A hiking trail like the 1000 steps of the Kokoda Walk in the Dandenong Ranges will not only give you a little taste of history, but also a thigh-and-butt workout that you don’t even notice at the time. Why aren’t you noticing the workout? Because you’ll be too busy admiring the trees and the views around you. Choose a good trail with a view you can work towards, and the workout will do itself.
Lucy and her friends recently got back to nature. Warning: Crazy levels of envy ahead… Post continues after gallery.
5. You’ll remember why we try to protect it.
Recycling bins, environmental charities, reducing our carbon footprints – most of us do are doing what we can in our daily lives to help protect our planet. Get outdoors and remind yourself why. Some places are so beautiful, you just want to sit and stare.
I sat still in Cloudehill Gardens for so long, people started to think I was a statue. The colours of the trees, the fairy-tale feel – it was enough to make me double my recycling efforts.
6. You’ll work better.
Here’s a fun fact: One hour of nature = a 20 per cent increase in memory performance and attention span. Get out there and improve your work ethic. Maybe even take it as an excuse to treat yourself to a massage in natural surroundings. For that reason, surely my boss will understand that the full-body massage I had at Balance Mountain Day Spa, with a forest view and the real sounds of nature, really WAS a work expense… right, boss?
7. It’s closer than you think.
Getting away for the weekend, or even for the day, always seems like such a big, unachievable task in our busy lives. But there are places just up the road. The Dandenong Ranges are only 55 minutes from the city, and for the rewards you’ll bring to your health and your mentality, it’s more than worth a short drive.
Also, the cake. Think of the cake.
Go on, you need it. Get back to nature. It’s only natural.
How do you get back to nature?
Want more? How about:
Find yourself in the Dandenong Ranges with an ultimate weekend getaway for two people.
We’ll be flying you direct by helicopter with Microflite from Melbourne CBD to the Yarra Valley, where you’ll be staying for two nights in private luxury. Start your first full day with a sunrise balloon flight with Global Ballooning Australia, then explore the spectacular Dandenong Ranges.
You’ll get to explore the wineries, farm gates and breweries on an exclusive tour with Yarra Valley Transfers, lunch at TarraWarra Estate before being flown back to Melbourne by Microflite helicopter.
The competition closes on 31 July 2015 and is open to Australian residents 21 years and over, except residents from ACT and NSW. Click here to enter: Dandenong Ranges.