Wellbeing and Nature

Nature has long been associated with wellbeing, and good mental health. I am sure everyone has heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), in which people who normally exhibit stable mental health throughout the year, feel depressed and down, during the winter months. Often symptoms include feeling tired and lethargic, sleeping longer than normal and overeating.

Getting out into nature can help alleviate these symptoms, engaging with activities in the outdoors, walking, even a drive taking in the local scenery, and when better to engage further than during Spring, when the countryside is filled with sounds and sights of nature and new life. In my own household at the moment we are surrounded by new Lambs. This very morning we had triplets, one of which ended up in the kitchen being resuscitated, while we all looked on anxiously waiting for his first breath. The joy that filled the house when he finally moved his head, and the sense of camaraderie as each one glanced at the other in delight at having helped bring this miracle back from near demise.

Obviously everyone doesn’t have the opportunity of this experience on their doorstep, and possibly wouldn’t want it! The countryside and outdoors however, are filled with new life and sounds of nature, so get out there and explore. Walking and exercise can help with symptoms of SAD, being in the outdoors will also help, and evidence shows that early morning outdoor activities are particularly beneficial. Open the blinds, and throw open those windows, fresh air and light [sun light if you can find it], all ways of helping you feel better.

This is particularly pertinent in current times, with so many people working from home, and perhaps struggling with this feeling of “ground hog day,” as a friend of mine recently described it. A description I found particularly relevant to the way lots of us feel when we cannot get up and go, escape the confines of the home to meet with colleagues or friends and share in some non family related conversation, over a cup of coffee… These struggles are reality for so many of us, and becoming more so on a daily basis, so it is important to remember you are not the only one feeling this way, everyone has an off day, some of us have several. Small simple strategies can help.

Some further reading and nice ideas can be found in this nice piece below:

Published by Dr M

An Early Years Specialist in the areas of Education, Psychology, and Research, I am passionate about curriculum development and the benefits of IT in Early years for promoting creative thought, autonomy, and innovative teaching and learning. Throughout my career I have also been involved in raising awareness of the importance of outdoor play, the provision of training and development in Adult Education; improved Parental involvement, and also Psychological development and behavioural analysis particularly in children under 6yrs. As a Counsellor and Psychotherapist, I work with parents, schools, and preschools as consultant and mentor offering support and advice, training, and quality assurance with the aim of encouraging standardisation and recognition amongst the Early Years profession.

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