Rewild yourself | Mindful ways to reconnect with nature
We all know how transformative spending time outside in the fresh air is. Even when it’s grey and grisly, getting out for a good stomp can completely transform your mood. It’s the oldest trick in the book and it’s completely free and available to all of us. Getting into Nature, whether it’s a walk in a park, a woodland, or even down a tree-lined city street, reminds us of our connection to the natural world and gives us an important sense of perspective and vitality. Being in Nature, especially when you’re moving, will boost your mood, sharpen your mind, and make you feel calmer and more generous to others. We know that it’s easy to get busy and lose your connection to Nature, especially during winter. So here are a few mindful ways to re-engage with the outdoors.
Stop and smell the flowers
Chinese Medicine Practitioners have long believed that flowers can help you manage your emotions and be used to cultivate desired qualities like joy or peace. We know intuitively that flowers make us happy but it has now been scientifically proven that flowers have both an immediate and long-term impact on our emotional health. Their vibrant hues delight our senses, trigger the production of melatonin – a calming hormone – and serotonin – a hormone that elevates our mood.
Catch a sunrise/ sunset
Natural light is so important for our circadian rhythms and to stop us feeling exhausted all the time. You can reset your internal clock by getting outside to watch a sunrise or sunset. Last year, photographer Jacob Martin made this wonderful film You can’t lose documenting his challenge to wake up for every sunrise in October ‘just to see what he could see’. If that doesn’t inspire you to get up for sunrise, we don’t know what will.
Stare at the stars
Wonder is good for us. There’s a lot to wonder at. We just need to remember to notice it once in a while. Looking up at the constellations in the night’s sky and thinking of how tiny we are in the universe gives us a sense of awe and puts our daily worries into perspective.
Go for a stomp every day and vary your route
You might not be a seasoned hiker but most of us can walk 15-minutes a day, every day. This is the single most important thing we can do for our health. Research shows that a 15-minute midday walk boosts concentration and energy. Walking also reduces stress and helps us manage our weight, as well as a whole host of other benefits like helping with long term cognitive function. The best way to keep your daily walk interesting is to try a new route every day. Listen to an audiobook, podcast, your favourite album, or the sounds of the birds or city around you. Tilt your head up and look up at the tops of buildings and trees. Notice things.
Take a cold dip
Cold water swimming is gaining in popularity and momentum as a pastime. The health benefits of cold-water swimming are numerous. It’s been credited as helping to ward off dementia, as well as helping with respiratory conditions. It creates a natural high, improves circulation, builds body confidence and stops you worrying about things that don’t matter. It forces you to be present. We love watching what Sophie Hellyer and the Rise Fierce community are doing. We’d also highly recommend this documentary called The Ponds about the year round swimmers at Hampstead Heath.
Scientific research has proven that going barefoot and creating physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth benefits your health. So, go outside, take off your shoes, and walk in the grass (yes, even if it’s freezing). This practice known as ‘earthing’ or ‘grounding’, and the negative ions from the earth are said to help absorb the positive ions within us that cause disease.
We hope these ideas help you reconnect with nature! Enjoy your time outside and see the positive impacts it has on your health and mood.