A-Z of Wellbeing
As we enter a new year, we have been faced with challenges and stresses that have spilled over from 2020; focusing on helping your mental health and wellbeing is vital, now more than ever. Connecting and immersing yourself in nature is said, by researchers, to be a great remedy for helping relieve stress and reduce anxiety, and that is why we have decided to put together a light-spirited A-Z of how you can help your wellbeing through the power of nature. Every Wednesday we will provide you with a new letter from the alphabet, giving you a suggestion of something you can do whilst you are out in nature or one of the benefits of spending time outdoors through our #WellnessWednesday.
A is for Art
Art is defined as the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. Creating visual art is said by researchers to help reduce stress and promote relaxation; this is why as our first letter for our A-Z of wellbeing we focused on Art. During these stressful times you can utilise art as a form of releasing stress and anxiety that you may have; you could perhaps use your daily exercise out in nature as an inspiration and a basis for your art piece; capturing the colours, textures, sights and movement you may see. Research and explore other artists’ work to see what styles you prefer and to broaden your horizons with how other people define art. Art can be what you make it, so do not feel overwhelmed if you have never picked up a paint brush before. Instead, you could use items you have collected from your walks out in nature, to make a collage, or you could even borrow your own children’s colouring crayons to explore what makes you happy.
B is for Birdwatching
B is for Birdwatching – Birdwatching or birding, is the recreational activity of observing birds in their natural habitat. Spending time in nature is said, by scientists, to have many positive influences on our mental health and emotional wellbeing and birding is one of many outdoor activities believed to be helpful in practicing mindfulness. This concept is discussed and portrayed by our good friend, writer and public speaker, Joe Harkness in his book ‘Bird Therapy’. Joe describes how this meditative interest in birding helped bolster and support his mental health and emotional wellbeing after struggling with his own mental health. He discusses how taking ourselves away from the hustle and bustle of the modern digital world is crucial to our mental state and taking part in activities such as birdwatching can help us all; especially in a climate such as this. You do not need to know anything about bird identification to enjoy birdwatching. Just listening to their calls and watching them fly can be very soothing and it won’t be long before you start to notice the differences between species.
C is for Cycling
Exercising is a great way of helping both our mental and physical health, as it is said by scientists to release serotonin; a hormone known as a natural mood stabilizer. Exercising outdoors can be a very powerful antidote to reducing stress and anxiety, giving you an opportunity to connect with nature whilst reaping the benefits for your overall health. We are able to enjoy nature in many different forms and through many different means, whether it be a gentle stroll, jog or cycle. If you have exhausted your daily walks, perhaps you can mix it up with a cycle around your local park or area. Regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It’s also a great way to take in your surroundings, listen to the sounds of nature that surround you, and feel the fresh air on your face. If you’re a keen cyclist we’d love you to share with us how cycling makes you feel…