Start the week with a dose of 'harithaabha' for mental health

A 20-minute walk or stroll amidst greenery can have an amazing calming effect on you. Photo: Shutterstock/Maples Images

Yet another busy week is about to dawn on us. Before you get into the grind and immerse in the stress, what about starting the week with a dose of greenery for mental health? It's a known fact that the 'harithaabha and pachappu,' (greenery) as the character Dr Mathai famously quotes in the Nazriya-starrer film 'Ohm Shanti Oshana,' can have a positive impact on one's well-being. Albert Einstein once said, 'Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.' But, how do you connect with nature while living in urban spaces that makes it a challenging affair? Here are a few tips:

Discover the green stretch of your city or town
Many towns and cities have well-known or even hidden green spaces where you can escape the busy life. Start your week with a 20-minute walk or stroll here in the morning, enjoying nature at its best. The hidden gem of nature can even be small stretches of green plants in your apartment or a road lined with a few trees. If the stretch isn't long for a walk, sit amid the plants, gadget-free, observing their flowers or fruits and other living beings around them. If even that is too much to ask, have an indoor green plant or a couple of shrubs in your space. You can start your day by watering them or even meditating or reading a book in their company.

Join an outdoor group
Many urban areas have groups of walkers or joggers who go outdoors to just socialise or exercise. If you don't have one in your area, you can even form one on your own. Start activities like cycling or birdwatching in the mornings with the group rather than wasting your time scrolling through social media. It will make a huge difference.

Mindful observation and gratitude
In her novel 'Mansfield Park,' Jane Austen's character Fanny Price says, 'To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon the verdant green hills is the most perfect refreshment.' Taking time to appreciate whatever little of green nature is around you – be it enjoying the sound of a bird singing, feeling a bit of sunlight on your skin, or even the changing colours of leaves – with gratitude, can have a tremendous calming effect on your mind. They are small things, but when done mindfully the effect can be tremendous.

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