I don’t know about you, but in the winter months I just tend to hibernate… I am not a cold weather person normally, unless it is a really sunny day like it was today, and winter makes me pretty miserable in general. After spending a few glorious hours in the sun at a local country park with other home educators and our children today, it got me thinking about something I have grown increasingly aware of and passionate about raising awareness of…

… and that is Nature Deficit Disorder.

This new ‘disorder’ was first identified by Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods, where he detailed how children are suffering physically, emotionally and behaviourally because they are not spending enough time out in nature, and this is something we will be looking at throughout my naturemums blog because I really do feel that it not just affects children, it is affecting all of us.

While I may be experiencing some of these symptoms because I am not out and about as much as I normally would be (I love being outdoors, so it might surprise you that I want to hibernate when it gets to winter!), I wonder how many of these you might be experiencing too, and if so, a good dose of Vitamin N might be just what you need.

Here are the top 7 indicators that you just might have Nature Deficit Disorder:

1. Depression or low mood.
If you are feeling down, or even depressed, it could be because you are not spending enough time outdoors.

If you are feeling down, or even depressed, it could be because you are not spending enough time outdoorsClick To Tweet

2. Your concentration is poor.
Spending less time in nature can have a detrimental effect on your ability to concentrate and so if you are finding it hard to pay attention, pay attention to nature and get outside more.

Spending less time in nature can have a detrimental effect on your ability to concentrate #naturemumsClick To Tweet

3. You seem to have lost your sense of wonder of the world.
If you are not feeling a sense of wonder often, get out and look at the amazingness of nature around you.

If you are not feeling a sense of wonder often, get out and look at the amazingness of nature around you.Click To Tweet

4. You’re not as creative as you used to be.
Studies have shown that people who get out in nature tend to have more ideas and are more creative, so the next time you need some inspiration, head out to your favourite outdoor space and let the ideas flow to you.

Studies have shown that people who get out in nature have more ideas and are more creative #naturemumsClick To Tweet

5. You are developing myopia (you can’t see things far away)
This is a real sign that you are not going outdoors enough. Spending too long looking at things close to you – looking at screens or things that are inside – doesn’t exercise your eyes and can start to bring on short sightedness, so going outside and looking at the landscape around you, and looking at things far in the distance, will help your eyesight.

Spending too long looking at things close to you can start to bring on short sightedness #getoutsideClick To Tweet

6. Your senses aren’t what they used to be.
One of the signs of Nature Deficit is that you seem to notice less variation and a diminished experience of things that you taste, touch, see, hear and smell. Getting outdoors passively trains our senses in so many things.

One of the signs of Nature Deficit is that you seem to notice a diminished experience of your senses.Click To Tweet

7. You feel somewhat disconnected.
Spending more time outside helps you to feel more connected in your life, and find more meaning in your relationships and in your surroundings.

Spending more time outside helps you feel more connected and find meaning in your surroundings #naturemumsClick To Tweet

So, what do you think? How many of these do you feel you have? Do you think you spend too little time in nature? Do you need to build more time into your week to get outside?

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