"Getting out in nature has the ability to change my physical and mental health for the better"
Paddle your toes, climb some trees, buy a kick scooter… Just get out there in nature and be in the moment doing what truly makes your heart sing, whatever the weather.
For me, spending time nature is an absolute necessity to maintaining and improving my mental health and physical wellbeing.
Since childhood, I have always been at my happiest outside, and even more so when there’s water involved. Whether that’s dipping my toes in the sea for a paddle, a stroll near any body of water, paddle boarding or kayaking with my husband and our Miniature Schnauzer Essen.
One fortune of 2020 was the beautiful weather we had. We are lucky to have a garden and also live nestled between the South Downs and the sea, both in walking distance from home. My gratitude for these simple things has always been there, but never more so than the last year or so throughout the pandemic. The simplicity of eating as many of our meals in the garden, growing our own fruit and vegetables, or simply standing barefoot on the grass, all helped to ease the anxiety and feeling of confinement that lockdown brought.
We have done so much more walking in the last year and really focused on exploring new places within the Government travel restrictions at any given time. Some of the highlights have been Leonardslee Gardens, Herstmonceux Castle, Arlington and Ardingly Resevoirs, and Chelwood Vachery in the Ashdown Forest.
I have long-term physical health conditions that affect my pain and energy levels daily. Some days, the simplest of tasks that most people take for granted can be exhausting and in turn this can affect my mental wellbeing.
It’s a fine balance between me knowing when to recharge via rest, and when to recharge by doing… many times I will push on through, often with the encouragement of my husband.
I have experienced on so many occasions, how just getting out in nature has the ability to change my physical and mental health for the better and totally transform a day. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, complicated, or cost anything – time spent in the garden, a scenic drive, a picnic, or some photography can be a tonic. It’s about choosing what’s right for you.
As we mature, I think we can also forget about or deny ourselves the simple activities we may have once enjoyed as a child. So I say, paddle your toes, climb some trees, buy a kick scooter… Just get out there in nature and be in the moment doing what truly makes your heart sing, whatever the weather. I do!