This week’s Thrive In Five is about getting out in nature for our health and wellbeing
I’d like to elaborate on a point that I made in a previous post about Blue Monday, the day in January when people report feeling their lowest. In the post, I shared with you my top three ways to boost mood and energy in winter, and I wanted to go back and further discuss the first thing on that list: Move in Nature.
Back To Basics
Getting out into nature isn’t a new idea – in fact, it’s just going back to what our ancestors would do all the time when life was much simpler. You may remember I talked about phytoncides (medicinal oils released by trees), that can have a really positive effect on both our mental wellbeing and immune health. Long before the invention of prescribed medication and processed foods, nature was the sole provider, and I think it is important to refer back to that concept every once in a while.
Try and get out – even just for five or ten minutes – look at the leaves and experience the crispness of the earth under your feet. It may not seem like much is going on this time of year, but there most certainly is – particularly underground – you just have to feel around for it with your mind. Sure enough, as you tune into your awareness, you’ll begin to notice the little buds on the trees and be able to see things that are happening in nature. I think this can really instil a sense of hope and optimism during times that for some of us can really feel quite blue.
Get Into Going Out
There are two books I’d like to recommend that will inspire you to get out, and though quite different, both are lovely reads that illustrate the powerful effects of nature therapy:
This book features a very short paragraph for every day of the year, which tells you about what’s thriving, growing, or starting to grow at that particular time.
You’ve most probably heard me talk about this one before as Johann Hari is one of my favourite authors! In the book, Hari argues that one of the reasons we are experiencing more feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression is that we’ve lost our connection with nature and the natural world.
So, I want to encourage you to get outside and ‘out of self’, to begin looking for things in nature, and learn to interact with something that is much bigger than everything you know.
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