Maria talks to us about the positive impact that being in nature can have on our wellbeing
Spending time outdoors can have a really powerful, positive impact in our day-to-day life and routine.
It has been proven that spending some time outdoors, with fresh air and in a green space has a great positive impact in our mood, physical and mental wellbeing. Although some local restrictions might not make it possible to socialise outside, we can still go for a walk or bring a bit of nature into our space.
These are things we can do to connect with nature during lockdown with some tips I’ve found useful:
- Take a walk in a green space. Go and explore your local park, take a seat in a bench, and take in all the nature around you. Take a nature path when walking the dog.
- Exercise in a park. If you have the stamina, this is a great hormone booster and will help you sleep better.
- Do a nature scavenger hunt with your children / household. We are never too old for it! there are many printable checklists online, or even better, create your own.
- Stargazing. When is not overcast, give your eyes a winter treat! You can use an app or book to recognise different stars. Give your eyes time to adjust, as it can take about 20 minutes before you can fully see stars in the dark.
- Litter picking. A great activity to do during walks with children or alone. You will need a litter picker, a rubbish bag, and some time.
- Open a window. If you are self-isolating or cannot go for a walk, opening a window, looking out and/or letting the fresh air in can also be a mood buster. As well as this, ventilation and letting fresh air in enclosed spaces is important to reduce the risk of Covid.
- Bring nature inside. Placing plants on our desks, living areas or windowsills can be a treat for our eyes and senses. Try having some things from nature around that will bring a happy memory like seashells or leaves you have collected.
- Watch out for wildlife. During your walks, in your garden or outside our windows. Wildlife is there and observing it can be quite relaxing.
- Let in natural light. This is incredibly helpful for overcoming the blues of the winter months, also helps with SAD and is a great mood booster. Draw open the curtains and soak in some natural light.
Plan for spring. The unprecedented times we are living through leave us with no room for much planning. But we can find reassurance that nature does not need to follow lockdown rules and sure enough, spring will come. We can start by planting the seeds that we will see bloom in spring. Even better, you can start to grow your own veg.
Through the winter days, it might be difficult to self-motivate to do most things, especially to be outdoors; but it could make a big difference to how we feel and help us when trying to find some balance and rhythm in our day-to-day life. I hope some of these ideas might tempt you.