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Author Topic: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons  (Read 666 times)

PerditaPickle

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It's gorgeous outside, still mild and sunshiny.  Soon it'll get colder (here), and there's the potential for much more frequent rain, & other inclement weather conditions.

I mostly missed the month of September this year because of a combination of physical and mental health difficulties which eclipsed everything else.

I'd love to find some sort of outdoor activity to do to make the most of this weather and this season, but there are just insufficient spoons.

How do you (or do you) connect with the natural world when you're low on spoons?
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

Jenett

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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2018, 10:52:45 am »
I'd love to find some sort of outdoor activity to do to make the most of this weather and this season, but there are just insufficient spoons.

In my case, being in nature often actively eats spoons for me. (Allergies and asthma). So even just being outside and bringing a book or something is complicated and not a great idea for me about half the year. (And then there's the winter, when there's both cold air and it's cold - we spend 3 or so months with temps right around freezing.)

I started allergy shots this spring, and they seem to be helping. (I actually walked outside, last Saturday, for about a half mile walk each way, and was still breathing reasonably at the end of it! So that's promising. Usually September and October are my worst outside times.)

What I've preferred is figuring out where I'm going to be out in nature anyway, and making a point of noticing what's there. Most reliably this is the walk from my car to the building my office is in (about 4-5 minutes through a gorgeous green campus) and back in the afternoon. The facilities crew do a great job with plants, so I notice what's blooming, what birds or animals I see (lots of bunnies...)

I also try to make a point of doing some seasonal food choices. That's not my whole diet, because spoons and cooking are a thing, but I notice there's a point in the spring when I want All The Dill. (as oppose to just liking it a lot, which is the rest of the year.) I've just hit the "Hey, soup is a great food!" season now it's fall, and so on.

I did a CSA membership this year through work (which got me a serving or three of four different veggies a week) and that's been interesting, but I've been missing having a reason to go to the farmer's market, so I think next year I'll do that instead. Wandering around the farmer's market for 20 minutes and picking up currently growing crops is a great seasonal thing.
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PerditaPickle

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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2018, 11:24:39 am »
I started allergy shots this spring, and they seem to be helping. (I actually walked outside, last Saturday, for about a half mile walk each way, and was still breathing reasonably at the end of it! So that's promising. Usually September and October are my worst outside times.)

Yay!

What I've preferred is figuring out where I'm going to be out in nature anyway, and making a point of noticing what's there. Most reliably this is the walk from my car to the building my office is in (about 4-5 minutes through a gorgeous green campus) and back in the afternoon. The facilities crew do a great job with plants, so I notice what's blooming, what birds or animals I see (lots of bunnies...)

I'm on the train Monday to Friday, and bits of the journey are quite green & pleasant - I do keep thinking that I should make the most of that scenery whilst there's still daylight for it, instead of staring at my phone screen.  But it's also a time of day when I'm not doing other stuff in which I can catch up on TC posts,  Facebook, emails and other stuff.  It's also a journey I've been doing every day/week for thirteen and a half years!  But perhaps there's a balance I can find between the two things.
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

Jenett

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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2018, 12:54:45 pm »
It's also a journey I've been doing every day/week for thirteen and a half years!  But perhaps there's a balance I can find between the two things.

I know some people who find something like "I'll find something to take a photo of on the journey" works really well for them for that kind of thing - maybe something near your train stops, if not actually on the train?
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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2018, 02:18:03 pm »
Window box herbs are a help to me, though I  am admittedly not as good at keeping them alive as I  would like.

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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2018, 02:33:23 pm »

How do you (or do you) connect with the natural world when you're low on spoons?

I don't always have a spoon issue, but I definitely have allergies and serious bug issues (they love me, and I react badly to getting bit...even going out to check mail is treacherous!)  But I spend SO much of my time inside (I don't work outside the home, so if I don't need to check mail, I may not even go outside at all in a day).

One thing I do is every morning, I greet the day at the back door.  It helps me check into the weather and the season.

I do find that sometimes sunlight is helpful (especially if I'm having a headache), and even just going outside for a few breaths, standing and facing the sun helps me.  I love doing this to appreciate the moon too.  It doesn't have to be long, just a moment or two to tune in.
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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2018, 12:45:49 am »
How do you (or do you) connect with the natural world when you're low on spoons?

If I have enough spoons to actually go outside, I sit in my yard for a few minutes. When I lived in an apartment, I'd sit on my porch and look at the woods across the way. This might not be as useful in a less-green city; the GVRD has a lot of nature in it even in the more urban areas. (I literally did not understand what a "concrete jungle" was until I visited New York City. I am used to my "cities" still being full of natural life in more than just the parks.)

If that's not at all possible, I use apps on my tablet for nature sounds or use the site RainyMood. Rain sounds are especially helpful for me because I love the rain, but my aching body does not.

Another thing I love is listening to music with animal sounds -- my mom had CDs with whale song and wolf song on them, and I would listen to them for hours.

I also change my desktop background on my computer to a nature scene I enjoy; usually something seasonal.

And I try to incorporate seasonal changes into my diet. This is partially based on what's available in my area, and partially based on what I associate with different times of the year. Right now, it's all about the apple crisp and pumpkin-y dishes.
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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2018, 06:52:46 pm »

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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2018, 11:07:03 am »
I mostly missed the month of September this year because of a combination of physical and mental health difficulties which eclipsed everything else.

Same here, my normal life has gone out the window since mid-August because of illness and Autumn is my favourite season. I wait all year for this season and then I can't get out to enjoy it!

How do you (or do you) connect with the natural world when you're low on spoons?

Since I've become ill I've been trying out different ways to still try to connect with nature even though I can't physically be out in nature a lot anymore due to pain/mobility. I'm finding that even really simple small things can give me a fix and I actually appreciate the little bits of nature I get more now.

I try to always sit somewhere in my house where I have a view out of a window to the garden at the back of my house or even just the shared green area/trees at the front. I find even being able to look outside and notice what is flowering/what is dying/even the grass growing keeps me connected. This week I was stuck in hospital but I was lucky to have a view out of a window in my ward and I was able to admire the changing colours in the trees and even saw a few rabbits running around, it was enough to keep me connected and grounded in nature.

Also I find opening the windows in the morning so I can hear birdsong and sense the weather in the air is helpful. When I am able to get outside, no matter how short the journey, I've taken to collecting the nature I find around me. I pick up conkers, fallen leaves, fallen twigs, rocks and wildflowers on my little journeys and I bring them home and surround myself with them so I can still feel nature is close.

I honestly feel like I appreciate these little pieces of nature more right now than if I was standing at the top of a mountain taking in a beautiful vista, because it's so much more valuable to me at the moment when illness, the sterility of hospitals, and lots of medication make me feel so far away from the natural world.

PerditaPickle

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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2018, 05:55:18 am »
Same here, my normal life has gone out the window since mid-August because of illness and Autumn is my favourite season. I wait all year for this season and then I can't get out to enjoy it!

I'm sorry to hear this - I've a fondness for the autumn too.  You've definitely had it worse than me, what with the hospital in-patient stay - my best wishes to you for your recovery/management of your health stuff.
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

PerditaPickle

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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2018, 05:58:52 am »
I know some people who find something like "I'll find something to take a photo of on the journey" works really well for them for that kind of thing - maybe something near your train stops, if not actually on the train?

I tried this Friday, but I made the mistake of trying to film/photograph a particularly picturesque section of the journey out the train window, then realised the glass was (of course) filthy!

But there's definitely scope for some photography near the stations (particularly if the life-hack I saw recently for a macro lens actually works, but also generally).
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

PerditaPickle

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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2018, 06:00:31 am »
Window box herbs are a help to me, though I  am admittedly not as good at keeping them alive as I  would like.

I'm really terrible at keeping anything alive, and cats wanting to eat everything don't help.  I do have a handful of spider plants on the bathroom windowsill though (where they're mostly safe) and I wouldn't be without them.
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

PerditaPickle

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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2018, 06:06:47 am »
One thing I do is every morning, I greet the day at the back door.  It helps me check into the weather and the season.

just going outside for a few breaths, standing and facing the sun helps me.  I love doing this to appreciate the moon too.  It doesn't have to be long, just a moment or two to tune in.

These are not bad ideas, if I can find a way of actually remembering.  (I live in an apartment so don't have a back door, but I could greet the day at the window instead.  And we're only on the second storey so going outside isn't entirely out of the question.)
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

PerditaPickle

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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2018, 06:19:02 am »
When I lived in an apartment, I'd sit on my porch and look at the woods across the way.

There used to be the most beautiful eucalyptus tree out the front of our block when we first moved in, but they took it out because they felt the roots were undermining the building.  So sad!  But there is currently a 'Christmas tree', which has recently become tall enough to see the top few feet out of our second storey window (without being stood up and looking down).  There's talk about removing it too, but I'm hoping that it's a low enough priority for the building management company that it won't happen for a long time, if at all.

I use apps on my tablet for nature sounds or use the site RainyMood.

This might be worth thinking about - I think one of the meditation/relaxation apps I already have has the option to listen to rain or ocean sounds, in fact.  It's just a question of my getting around to it.

I also change my desktop background on my computer to a nature scene I enjoy

I have a nature theme on my laptop, and also selected nature themed images for my smart phone.

I try to incorporate seasonal changes into my diet. This is partially based on what's available in my area, and partially based on what I associate with different times of the year.

This is something I used to do when I was healthy, but not so much any more - I always intend to, but very rarely get around to it these days.
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

PerditaPickle

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Re: Connecting with the natural world when there are insufficient spoons
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2018, 06:26:10 am »
I try to always sit somewhere in my house where I have a view out of a window to the garden at the back of my house or even just the shared green area/trees at the front. I find even being able to look outside and notice what is flowering/what is dying/even the grass growing keeps me connected. This week I was stuck in hospital but I was lucky to have a view out of a window in my ward and I was able to admire the changing colours in the trees and even saw a few rabbits running around, it was enough to keep me connected and grounded in nature.

Also I find opening the windows in the morning so I can hear birdsong and sense the weather in the air is helpful. When I am able to get outside, no matter how short the journey, I've taken to collecting the nature I find around me. I pick up conkers, fallen leaves, fallen twigs, rocks and wildflowers on my little journeys and I bring them home and surround myself with them so I can still feel nature is close.

I like these ideas.  I always try to sit on the train on my commute where I can get a good view of the scenery (even though I don't always take advantage of that view lately, as mentioned).  And I'd been collecting bits of nature for a while for a piece of artwork I have in mind, though I don't know when I'll get around to the actual artwork.

Listening to the birdsong is such a simple idea but such an effective one - mostly in the mornings here we get a turf-war going on between the magpies and the crows, which is kind of amusing; the really melodic birdsong, I think, is around sunset, so I've got to remember to take off my headphones and give it a listen, because it really is the most uplifting thing!

Edit: added something.
"If I get on, Susan thought, it'll all start again.  I'll be out of the light and into the world beyond this one.  I'll fall off the tightrope.
But a voice inside her said, You want to, though...don't you...?
Ten seconds later, there was only the snow."
(Terry Pratchett's Hogfather)

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