Why it's time to re-connect to nature...
Self Care Series
Why nature is so important for us, now more than ever - Get up & Get out
'In every walk in nature, one receives far more than he seeks.'
Did you know that sitting activities are related to anxiety?
Which is why this week after breakfast and my usual morning shower; I packed my rucksack with lunch, my novel, notebook, pen and a bottle of water. After putting on my trainers, I stepped out into the wonderful sunshine and took myself off for a walk in the woods.
I decided in my head that this walk would be a creative and meditative walk. Life as meditation means not actively having to sit down and meditate.
My walk thoughts
As I walk along and look for a place to park myself, it astounds me the way that the trees will grow sometimes. I find a tree that was growing across the land rather than upwards, it makes me wonder how they live for so long without getting unwell. Trees are very resilient.
(By the way this is not the tree I saw.)
I’ve decided that the trees can seriously teach me a thing or two about being resilient.
As I amble along feeling calmer than I have felt in a long time the show ‘New: lives in the wild’ presented by Ben Fogle comes to my mind. I have often thought about just picking up and going somewhere else, starting a new life, I love what the people in the show have been brave enough to do. Don’t get me wrong I think some of them are super resilient because they pick cold climates or unyielding land something that I could never do.
I like the show and this walk makes me think of cutting my losses, picking up and shipping out. There’s something exciting about this notion. Yes, I know I digress!!!
I remember, we were talking about getting up and getting out :)
If you are feeling anxious, and even if you are not, getting out is a fantastic way to re-wire your emotional body, your feelings and the way that you are responding to the world.
The stress of an unpleasant environment can make us feel anxious, sad and it can suppress our immune system. Getting out in nature or a pleasant environment will have the reverse effect.
Fresh air helps us to sleep better, it improves our digestion, it helps with energy levels – more oxygen leads to increased concentration. This concentration and energy can then help with our creativity. In fact it doesn’t matter what the weather is like, getting out in the air, enables our bodies to be more resilient.
I am beginning to wonder, why my article heading does not feature the word resilience!! ;)
In fact the truth is there is a huge element of self care attached to getting out in nature, the nurture involved in taking the time out for self, the act of engaging with the environment, the exercise it gives the body and mind. It has the affect of helping the body to gently recuperate.
I can attest to the fact that getting out in nature today has really helped me to think about my life. I have also handwritten this article, I have some new ideas, I have even doodled across the page (this reminds me of school.)
The truth is that I just don't work in the same way when I am sitting at my laptop. Doodling definitely does not happen … My brain is also engaging in a different way.
Lunchtime approaches, this is the longest that I have sat outside like this in some time. Of course this is more to do with the weather than not wanting to go out.
Finally some sunshine and a picnic too, I find a place to sit, I even brought a little blanket. Sitting and reading my book I feel grateful to be here, grateful that I feel this good. There is something 'happy' about being in nature.
I see a little squirrel dart up a tree trunk. This is definitely the place to clear the mind, getting out is an all round healer and cleanser. Today has engaged me - the trees, the squirrels, wild mushrooms; I have a sense of rapture.
It’s about remembering when we were youngsters, being out on our bikes doing wheelies, picking blackberries and hiking heaven only knows where.
It has been proven that people that see greenery regularly tend to have lower stress levels. Now, it does not matter whether we live in the country or the city. There are always spaces of green available to embrace the feeling that I have captured in the woods.
London has Hyde Park, New York Central Park – there are gardens and green spaces in all the big cities. When we make use of these spaces we allow ourselves the time to reflect, to pause and to be more creative in general.
Remember that nature connects us to something bigger, it soothes us, helps us to lower our stress levels. Which could be why many places are now finding ways to incorporate greenery into spaces where we would normally only see concrete.
There is definitely something to be said for green and if picking up and just taking yourself on a jaunt in the wood is not your thing. How about gardening, or an allotment, or helping with a green project in your local community, park walks, runs, cycling, take a dog for a walk, all these activities can incorporate nature.
All we need to do is find our thing.
The major problem is that we get way too much screen time these days. Phones, tv’s, laptops, and the array of things that connect us in less natural ways. Today’s walk has reminded me that our lives have become unnatural. The less time that we spend in nature and the natural world the more unconnected we become.
This is why getting up and getting out is a must.
I recommend working in nature with no technology, if it is possible for you, at least once in a while; I did not even take my phone. It was and has been one of my favourite days and I feel as if I have achieved a great deal.
Maybe this is why I have a hankering in my heart to pick up and create a New: Life in the Wild. There is something liberating in the idea, right? Or instead, I can just create a firm date in my diary that reminds me to get out and work or walk in nature once in a while. This will help me to dis-connect from the ever present hum of electricals!!!
Let's all make a date with nature each and everyday, or at least once a week ... I am sure we'll be glad that we did :)
All the love
all Images pexels.com - thanks pexels