Florence Williams on the importance of getting your nature fix

“We don’t have to think of nature as being pristine, we don’t have to think of it as being a wilderness area. That just makes it kind of unattainable in terms of our daily connection. I think that we can find nature where we are – we have to find it where we are.” – Florence Williams
In the perfect follow-up to March’s Great Outdoors Slow Experiment, today I chat with Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix. Whether you’ve been reading the book or have never heard of it, you’re in for a treat. Florence is an epic researcher and communicator, and the studies and anecdotes she shares today are both informative and inspiring. Kicking off, Florence shares her favourite definition of nature: Oscar Wilde’s generous statement that it is “a place where birds fly around uncooked”. She believes nature doesn’t have to be wild or pristine to have an impact, which makes it so much more accessible, especially to urban dwellers. She and I talk about the importance of prioritising and valuing time spent in nature, as well as sharing some concrete tips for engaging in nature once we get there. Then we dive into the benefits. Florence shares what she found while researching and writing the book, from the way spending time in nature makes us feel more connected and be more civic-minded, to the impact on creativity, productivity and mood. She also touches on the relationship between nature and technology, encouraging kids to get outside, how she gets her own nature fix, research on the minimum recommended dose of outside time and so much more. This conversation only further convinced me of the importance of spending time in nature – it’s not a ‘nice-to-do’, more a ‘need-to-do’. And as I discovered during last month’s Great Outdoors experiment, I truly believe there are so many positive changes to be made simply by spending more time in nature, encouraging others to do the same, and raising a generation of kids who grow up both knowing and loving time outside. Enjoy!


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3 Responses to Florence Williams on the importance of getting your nature fix

  1. I recently discovered your podcast/website and firstly I would like to say Welcome to Canada! I am looking forward to exploring your site as many of the topics resonate deep within me. I consider myself to be a weekend nature warrior and definitely am not a happy camper if I don’t get my regular fix. I have been living in Calgary for over 30 years and the drive to the mountains (hundreds of trips) never fails to take my breath away (total Awe). My kids (now grown) were actively involved in the Junior Forest Wardens Program (Grade 1 – 12) and I really encourage those living in Alberta to check it out. It is a great program that is guaranteed to instill a love of nature and environmental stewardship (while learning lots of bush skills). It was a great way to keep them interested in being outdoors during the teenage years! In closing, I would like to share a couple of tips that I use to get moving when I am not feeling particularly motivated to get outside. 1) When looking out the window, I remind myself that the weather is always worse in my head than it actually is and 2) When I am out skiing/hiking etc I never once say to myself “Geez I wish I had stayed in the city”.
    Enjoy your time exploring our great country. I look forward to seeing/listening to your future posts!

  2. I just love spending some time in nature! It’s something that I have just recently discovered, but I feel so much better afterwards!