During these uncertain and distressing times, many negative emotions can consume us if we let them. Reconnecting with nature can benefit your mental and physical wellbeing, so we have come up with some ways in which you can start to enjoy the beauty of the natural world during lockdown...
We have been permitted to leave the house for one form of exercise a day, this may be whatever exercise you chose. Walking, running and cycling are all great ways of staying healthy and taking in your surroundings. While you are doing this, you may want to bird-watch or see which plants are growing in your local area, which may be something you’ve never looked out for before. While you are outside, take some deep breaths as the fresh air can make you feel refreshed and revived and may also reduce some of the stress you may have built up from being indoors.
It can be very difficult to occupy children at this time. Young children especially may not understand why they are not allowed to go to school, see their friends, etc. It is important that children are still healthy both mentally and physically whilst in lockdown. There are many activities that both you and your children can enjoy together which also allow the family to stay in connection with nature. For example:
A family bike ride is a great activity which allows everyone to get fresh air, exercise and passes the time. Collecting some leaves on the way and doing some arts and crafts with your children could be entertaining as well.
If they have schoolwork, you can set them up an area to do this outside and they can get fresh air while learning.
Young children may enjoy a scavenger hunt; hide some objects in the garden and create a list for them to find. This could be entertaining, plus they are getting fresh air and are surrounded by nature at the same time.
No matter where you live there will be a way of enjoying nature. You might not think it but, if you live in a built-up area there are many activities that can connect you with nature. For example:
Watching the sunrise early in the morning. Open the window to let in fresh air as you wake up and listen to the sounds of nature. This is a positive start to the day and may relax you.
If you are really stuck inside there are many online sources that allow you to enjoy nature from a distance, for example, nature documentaries, social media pages, and YouTube videos. The RSPB are also offering a daily breakfast birdwatch at 8am until 9am on weekdays.
Reading books about nature is also a good option if you can't go outside. This can be beneficial to your mental health, allow you to learn more about nature, and also could pass some time when you have nothing to do.
Gardening is a great hobby to take up during lockdown. Not only does it mean you can pass the time, but also if you are struggling to access fresh fruit and vegetables, you can grow your own! Monitoring the growth of your plants may give you something to focus on, it is a great way of staying in touch with nature and looking after your garden can benefit the plants and the wildlife.
If you’re interested in reading more; In this article Alice Vincent talks to fellow nature writer and Losing Eden author Lucy Jones about how to start enjoying nature during lockdown - even if it's only out of your window... https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2020/april/lockdown-finding-nature-birdsong-flowers-losing-eden/