Finding Nature [During Lockdown]
There is nothing more comforting than nature and green spaces during life’s new normal, lockdown. Numerous surveys suggest time in nature supports mental and physical wellbeing. Amen to that because mentally we are heavy and physically we are burdened.
Many households do not have access to a private or shared garden so the need to find ourselves with green space on our doorstep is instrumental to our wellbeing. Our population is growing and with that, green open spaces is diminishing BUT we need to fight for space; for green, for nature.
Lockdown gives us time to revaluate, to find new paths from home not just a new series to watch on Netflix. It’s giving us the space to move our bodies, to find new energy and to draw on natures energy that seems to be the one flourishing the most during these turbulent times.
Car emissions have declined, the air seems to be cleaner, the stars brighter and you can (if you choose to listen) hear the deafening sounds of the birds & wildlife; the natural world around is alive and humming to the beat of a different drum. And we need to do this too.
We have an opportunity now to connect further with nature to help us feel happier and more energised; to walk in the cool night air, to wake to the sunrise because we now have a little more time; let’s use it wisely.
If we are not flourishing in the wide-open spaces, then we need to look at getting our hands dirty in the garden; it’s time to work on your green thumb. Our brains welcome the shift of focus from us to the task at hand, gardening has also proved to restore our minds and help reduce negative feelings. Only this week I harvested around 200g of green salad leaves and I have never felt so calm and satisfied – and this is only from one small veggie box.
Plants help us to appreciate the power we have to nurture giving us a great sense of achievement when we see our hard work flourish. Sure, it might be cheaper at the start to buy produce from your local fruit & vegetable shop but the feelings are not the same.
Nature play allows us to use all of our senses; sight, sound, smell, feel and best of all taste. It allows us to develop our senses; to call upon our survival skills and to understand what it takes to grow food, real food. The benefits nourish not only us physically but stimulates us mentally too; we are hunters & gathers by trade, let’s not lose those skills by not challenging them.
We have 7 days of lockdown ahead of us; use this to bathe yourself in nature away from the negatively of our screens or what we are watching on them. Here’s six tips on what you can do to nature bathe:
- Watch the ripple of water or clouds across the sky
- Lie on a green patch of grass and feel the earth below you
- Walk under the stars at night
- Listen to your footsteps as you run along a trail path
- Hug a tree and smell the bark
- Open a window to smell the scent of fresh rain
As of January 2020, life has changed and we are learning to adapt to these now common reactive lockdowns. Despite the negatives, there are equally if not more positives in which we should be focusing on. We are taking more notice to things that were always there but we just didn’t see them before; nature is flourishing in front of our eyes and we are the gift bearers of this; nature is here to protect us, to keep us safe and to keep us nourished; lets embrace this gift with open arms.
Want to talk about it?
If you are struggling mentally during this lockdown phase no matter which state you are in, please reach out to friends and/or family or Lifeline on 13 11 14.