Studies show that spending time in nature is beneficial for both our physical and mental health. This is especially important now as we navigate our way through the pandemic and adjusting to imposed changes on our lives. Connecting with nature is something we can all do – here are my tips to start.
You don’t need to go far
Spending time outdoors in your local park or garden can be just as beneficial as in woods and mountains. In fact, it is a great way to get to know your local patch better. During lockdown when I could not travel to go for walks – I began to notice things like there was often a tawny owl roosting in a normally busy area of the woods and a nuthatch noisily declaring its home territory near my own garden.
Switch off your phone
Having a phone is very handy, but it can mean we find it hard to drag ourselves away from social media or enjoy a quiet hour without being interrupted by a call. It can be hard to do but pop your phone on do not disturb and enjoy the sounds of nature instead.
Use all your senses
This can help to really engage and connect with our environment. It is also something that as adults we don’t often do as we feel self-conscious. Give it a try though – breathe in the rich fragrance of a conifer woodland, run your hand along the rough bark of an old tree, even catch a snowflake on your tongue and see what it tastes like!
We are often guilty of dashing from A to B and trying to fit as much into our days as possible. But treat yourself to a slow wander through the woods or along by the river. Wrap up warm and sit on a bench to watch the birds. Slow your footsteps. Be mindful and enjoy the moment.
Care for it
A great way to engage with nature is to care for it. Pop up a nest box in your garden (now is a good time to do it) or grow some pollinator-friendly plants in a window box.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the beautiful surrounds of Blair Castle but in the meantime, I hope these tips help you enjoy nature closer to home.
“If you truly love nature you will find beauty everywhere” – Vincent Van Gogh