In the UK 75% of children spend less time outdoors than prisoners.
Those of us living in cities are outside for only 1-5% of our time.
We have all no doubt inherently felt it , why else would we take flowers to those who are sick , but the science now supports it, nature is good for us.
Urban areas overwork the sympathetic nervous system , so that part of the body which responds to danger or stressful situations. Nature impacts the parasympathetic system , so the part of the body responsible for rest and calm. It encourages being in the moment. It increases vigour and energy,
Nature can also boost our immune system. A boost which is so vital in present times.
Studies on Ecotherapy have found that the effects are more profound if we actively engage with nature , using our five senses . Some examples of this are, smelling the earth after rain , stopping to look at the colours of the leaves or listening out for the birdsong.
How then ,in our busy lives , can we get more nature? Here are some quick wins;
- Salvage a corner of the garden and vow to spend 1 hour of working from home out there each day
- Grow something , even if it is just on your windowsill. Herbs are a good option
- Breakfast or lunch in the woods. Pack up a picnique of your favourite things
- Organise a nature trail for the children
- Volunteer for conservation work or a city garden project
- Choose to walk through a tree lined avenue or a park on your way somewhere
- Apply a natural product and allow its aroma to conjure up feelings of goodness
- Challenge yourself to learn about one new tree or bird a day on your walks. There are some fabulous free apps and resources
- Collect sea shells at the beach
- Allow yourself the opportunity of 5 minutes of just looking at the sky in the day or the stars at night
Go on then , get out there.......
"Leave the roads. Take the trails" Pythagoras