Rug Up and Enjoy the Outdoors: Embracing Gardens and Nature

Rug Up and Enjoy the Outdoors

Winter is here, and while the colder weather can make it tempting to stay indoors, there’s something truly magical about enjoying the outdoors during this season. Gardens and nature offer a wonderful way to stay active, boost your mood, and connect with the environment, even when the temperature drops. With preparation, you can rug up, live the life of your choosing and make the most of the winter months in Adelaide. Here are some tips to help you embrace the outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature this winter:

Dress for the Weather

The key to enjoying the outdoors in winter is dressing appropriately. Layering is your best friend. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your skin, add an insulating layer like a wool or fleece sweater, and top it off with a waterproof and windproof jacket. Don’t forget warm socks, gloves, a scarf, and a beanie to protect your extremities. When you’re dressed warmly, you can comfortably spend more time outside without feeling the chill.

Explore Local Gardens and Parks

Adelaide is home to some beautiful gardens and parks that are worth exploring, even in winter. The Adelaide Botanic Garden, for example, offers a serene escape with its lush greenery and tranquil pathways. Take time to admire the winter blooms, and breathe in the crisp, fresh air. Many local parks also have accessible paths and amenities, making them suitable for everyone to enjoy. Check out your nearest park and plan a visit to soak in the natural beauty.

Enjoy Winter Gardening

Winter is an excellent time to get involved in gardening. While some plants may not thrive in the cold, there are plenty of winter-friendly plants you can grow. Vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli, as well as herbs like parsley and thyme, can do well in winter. Gardening is not only a great way to stay active, but it also provides a sense of accomplishment and has been reported to reduce stress. If you don’t have a garden, consider container gardening (i.e. pots, plastic/hessian bags, used food containers etc.) placed in a sunny spot.

Create a Winter Nature Scavenger Hunt

A nature scavenger hunt can be a fun and engaging way to enjoy the outdoors, especially for families. Make a list of winter-specific items to find, such as pine cones, frost-covered leaves, or specific bird species. This activity encourages you to explore your surroundings and notice the subtle changes that winter brings. It’s also a fantastic way to keep kids entertained and active during the colder months.

Warm Up with Outdoor Activities

Staying active is essential for both physical and mental health. Winter is a great time to try new outdoor activities or revisit old favourites. Bundle up and the cool air can be invigorating, and exercise will help keep you warm. If you enjoy photography, winter landscapes offer unique and stunning opportunities for capturing the beauty of nature.

Bring Nature Indoors

If it’s too cold to spend much time outside, you can still enjoy the benefits of nature indoors. Create a cosy indoor garden with potted plants, or start a herb garden on your windowsill. The presence of greenery can improve your mood and add a touch of nature to your home. Houseplants like succulents, ferns, and peace lilies are low-maintenance and thrive indoors.

Engage in Wildlife Watching

Winter provides a unique opportunity to observe wildlife. Birds, in particular, can be fascinating to watch as they adapt to the colder weather. Set up a bird feeder outside and see which species come to visit. Keep a journal of your sightings and enjoy the peaceful activity of birdwatching. It’s a calming way to connect with nature and appreciate the diversity of wildlife in your area.

Host Outdoor Gatherings

Winter provides a unique opportunity to observe wildlife. Birds, in particular, can be fascinating to watch as they adapt to the colder weather. Set up a bird feeder outside and see which species come to visit. Keep a journal of your sightings and enjoy the peaceful activity of birdwatching. It’s a calming way to connect with nature and appreciate the diversity of wildlife in your area.

Practice Mindfulness in Nature

Nature provides the perfect setting for mindfulness practices. Take a moment to sit quietly in a park or garden, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Listen to the surrounding sounds, feel the cool breeze on your skin, and take in the scents of winter. Mindfulness in nature can help reduce stress, improve concentration, and enhance your overall sense of wellbeing.

Stay Safe and Prepared

While enjoying the outdoors in winter, it’s important to stay safe and prepared. Check the weather forecast before heading out and be mindful of muddy, slippery conditions. Bring along a small backpack with essentials like water, snacks, a first aid kit, and a fully charged mobile phone. Always let someone know your plans if you’re going out for a while. Being prepared ensures that you can enjoy your time outdoors safely.

Reach Out for Support

Winter doesn’t have to mean staying indoors. By dressing warmly, exploring local gardens and parks, engaging in winter-friendly activities, and embracing the beauty of nature, you can make the most of the colder months. Stay safe, stay warm, and reach out if you need support.


VIVA Mutual’s Support Centre team is always available to share our expertise and experience for the benefit of Support Coordinators, NDIS participants and those who support them. Many of us live with disabilities ourselves and/or have family members with NDIS Plans too, so we know what we’re talking about. 

For a confidential chat with one of VIVA Mutual’s understanding and supportive folks, please call 08 8877 8000 or email us via admin@vivamutual.org

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