One of our goals for our farm is to encourage people to get outside and connect with nature to reduce stress. Many studies have shown the added health benefits of spending time outside to improve your well being. One study showed that going for a 20 minute walk immersed in nature can reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. But besides talking a walk, how else can you connect with nature? Enter: Nature journaling
What is Nature Journaling?
Nature journaling is the practice of drawing or writing in response to nature. It is a fun and relaxing way to record observations of plants, flowers, animals, or a beautiful view. By taking the time to notice what is around you while outdoors, you will have an opportunity to clear your mind and focus on the current moment. Nature journal entries might include drawings of an interesting tree, a leaf rubbing, writing about the weather, or even a personal reflection about your experience outside.
Getting started is quite easy and does not require any special supplies. A simple sketchbook and pencil that you can carry with you on your next adventure is a perfect starting point. Some people even choose to bring a small collection of markers to make their entries more colorful. If you need supply ideas, you can check out our recommendations on Amazon by clicking here. Once you have your supplies, you can choose a suitable location where you wish to walk or sit to observe nature. Local parks, lakes, or even your backyard are great options.
The great thing about nature journaling is that it is up to you when and how often you practice. If you already go for a walk outside once a week, bring your journal and pencil along with you. Take a break mid way to sketch something you saw that peaked your interest or write a short poem inspired by your experience.
If you do not currently spend time outside but it is a personal goal to change that, nature journaling is a great way to provide motivation. Start with an achievable goal to avoid overwhelming yourself. Take a 10 minute walk and use 2 minutes to reflect in your nature journal. As you build the habit, you can gradually increase the time spent outside and journaling.
Nature Journaling Techniques
Need some ideas on what to do? Here is a list of some journaling techniques and prompts to give your some inspiration:
Sketching Nature Scenes: Capture the beauty of landscapes, plants, and wildlife through detailed sketches.
Botanical Illustrations: Focus on drawing and documenting different plant species, highlighting their unique features.
Nature Collages: Collect leaves, flowers, and other natural materials to create artistic collages in your journal.
Observational Writing: Practice descriptive writing to articulate your observations of the environment, capturing colors, sounds, and textures.
Seasonal Changes Log: Create a dedicated section to track and document the changes in nature across seasons.
Field Notes and Annotations: Jot down quick notes and annotations alongside sketches to provide context and additional details.
Nature Poetry: Express your feelings and connection with nature through poetry in your journal.
Weather Tracking: Include a section to note weather conditions during your outdoor sessions, exploring the impact on nature.
Comparative Studies: Compare and contrast different elements of nature, such as the growth of plants or the behavior of animals over time.
Found Object Rubbings: Make rubbings of interesting textures in nature using crayons or pencils, adding a tactile dimension to your journal.
Join our Online Nature Journaling Broadcast Channel
Combining art and nature is a perfect way to relax. As an artist myself, I am always trying to find ways to practice being creative and encouraging others to do the same. If you are interested in getting started with nature journaling, join our free online Nature Journaling Broadcast Channel on Instagram. Simply go to our Instagram profile by clicking here and click subscribe on our broadcast channel. We will be sharing prompts and ideas for you to try along with some specials for those who choose to participate. We look forward to creating a fun and collaborative community with you!