From meriggiare to utepils, the nature-embracing rituals we should try

We know that getting out and about in natural spaces is good for us.

Whether it’s taking a dip in a lake, strolling around a park, or surrounding ourselves with houseplants, immersing ourselves in nature poses benefits for our mental and physical health.

If you’re in need of a further nudge to get out in nature, though, it’s worth attaching a catchy lifestyle trend to the simple act.

You know, like how calling going to the park ‘forest-bathing’ or wearing thick socks and reading a book ‘hygge’ makes those activities cooler.

We chatted to language learning app Babble for their guide to the nature-embracing terms and trends we can nab from around the world. Feel free to use these in everyday conversation to seem effortlessly cool and worldly.

Meriggiare: The Italian word for resting at noon in a shady spot outside away from the sun. This is all about that sweet, dozy relief of finding a cool spot to rest on a bright, hot day.

森林浴 (shinrin-yoku): Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, is the act of spending time in the woods to soak up its natural medicine. A substantial body of research confirms that time spent in nature reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, and improves mental health and focus – time to head for the trees, and reap all of the benefits.

Mångata: This is a not-quite-translatable word from Sweden that refers to the shape the moonlight makes when it’s reflected on the water: a long, undulating, wavy stream. The word mångata literally translates to ‘moon road’ – something for the night owls to follow if they want a late-night nature fix.

Utepils: This Nordic word refers to the act of sitting outside in the sun and enjoying a beer – or whatever drink you fancy. Pure bliss, and sounds far more elegant than ‘beer, then?’.

Waldeinsamkeit: This German word is made up of two parts: ‘wald’, which means forest, and ‘einsamkeit’, which means loneliness or solitude. The word is supposed to describe the feeling that a person gets when alone in the woods, or a sense of peace that can be achieved through feeling at one with nature.

Merak: Merak is the Serbian word for the feeling of connectedness we get to the universe through the most simple of pleasures – or the pursuit of small, daily pleasures to achieve a sense of happiness or fulfillment. Whether it’s a gentle walk in the park, or just a bit of sunbathing, merak is luckily easy to achieve – just head outdoors and follow whatever brings you peace and joy.

Madrugada: The time between midnight and dawn, when things begin to brighten and night greets the day. Go out for a walk at this time to enjoy a quiet communion with the sky.

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