How nature can help us through lockdown
These days, most of us are spending a lot more time at home.
We’re two months into lockdown in the UK and, as much as possible, we’re settling into this new world of social distancing and home working.
But what effect is all this time indoors – often with family in small spaces doubling as offices – having on our mental health? The United Nations has warned the crisis will have affected the mental wellbeing of whole societies, with isolation among the causes of distress.
We’ve just had Mental Health Awareness Week, so it’s the perfect time to reflect on what you can do help alleviate feelings of uncertainty or anxiety.
Something that helps me, and many other members of the Formative Content team, is getting out into nature. I’m lucky enough to be able to take a daily walk in the fields near my house – many people, of course, don’t have such a luxury. But research has found visits to urban green spaces can improve emotional wellbeing too.
Here, members of our team share why nature is so important to them right now, as well as some images from their daily excursions.
“Getting out in nature, and particularly to see big views, reminds me of how small we are and helps me put my daily worries in perspective. It’s a balm for the soul to see flowers in the sunshine and watch trees come into leaf – the seasons remind us the world is still turning and this, too, will pass.” Kate
“We’re all still working hard to be creative, but amid limited social contact, dispiriting headlines and attempts at home schooling it’s such a welcome break to get out into the fresh air. For an hour a day, whether I’m cycling or walking the dog, I can forget about the coronavirus and just concentrate on saying hello to some horses in a field, or inhaling the scent of hawthorn, which reminds me of childhood springs.” Katharine
“Weekend walks with my family are the highlight of my week. We have lived in the Chilterns for 13 years and I have never been so grateful for having such beautiful countryside on my doorstep. And great weather, too!” Kathryn
“The outside world is a natural tranquilliser – nature gives me time to think, time with the family, and helps me appreciate how lucky I am in the current situation.” Alex
“I have taken to going for very early morning walks and am loving the peace and solitude in the woods.”
“After noticing my stress levels rising, I stepped out into this scene for 10 minutes and felt immediately lighter. This kind of natural tonic is essential at the moment – though I’m conscious it’s not available to everyone, so there’s some guilt, too!”
“Even if you don’t have a garden, you can cultivate houseplants in your home and grow seedlings. Planting seeds and watching things grow is something you can control, when so much around us seems out of our control at the present.” Wendy
About the author: Gay Flashman is the CEO and founder of Formative Content. Last year, she was named in Thrive Global’s Top Female Creatives of 2019 list. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.
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