We all know how hard it is to keep positive during a lock down. The period at the beginning of this year was really tough for a lot of people. However, it doesn’t have to take a toll on your wellbeing; and here we provide some things to try to help the whole family stay mentally healthy during this period.
Take a walk as a family
It doesn’t have to be far, even if you just go have a look around your local park, it all helps keep your mind healthy. There are tonnes of lovely places you can walk in and around South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire including the canal and woodland at Moira Furnace. If you live a little further away, try looking on local walking pages on Facebook or Google places to go.
No matter where you walk, you will find that the fresh air, sun, wind and rain will make you feel alive (if a little cold at times). Just spending time together can have massive benefits, but being in nature will really cement those bonds you have as a family.
Try turning it into a treasure hunt if you have younger children and give them things to find. This not only provides endless entertainment for all, but encourages them to notice things in nature.
Create nature inspired art
We’ve written about Nature Art Therapy before and have even used this ourselves when we needed to unwind. You don’t have to be fancy with it, simple create images and patterns that are pleasing to you. This pleasure will reduce stress hormones and make you feel calmer.
You can use anything you can find and either create the art where you find the materials, leaving it for other to enjoy; or you can take them home and create something to keep. However, you choose to do it, you will be connecting with nature in a different way and leaving your mark on the environment with positivity.
Do some meditation or yoga
Try one of our online meditation sessions as a family or try some animal based yoga to get back in tune with yourself and nature. Our meditation sessions are designed to guide you through a series of different types of meditation. We provide a variety of different techniques, as we are aware that some types work for some and some for others. Meditation provides you with skills to help manage stress, anxiety and worry. It gives individuals a foundation to build resilience and strength in their mental wellbeing.
Yoga has so many benefits, not just to your mental health, but to your physical health as well. Doing yoga outdoors can really provide a very fulfilling experience as it combines the benefits of the strength and flexibility of yoga with the Shinrin-Yoku benefits of being in nature. Exercising in nature allows your body to absorb more phytoncides and this increases your body’s ability to fight infection and illness.
Care for nature
Caring for other people or animals will always make us feel better. Even if it’s just a phone call to a friend you haven’t seen in a while. It helps you and them feel better. But caring for the nature that visits our garden really makes you feel connected and valued.
Why don’t do put some bird seed out and see what garden visitors you have? You may be surprised that it isn’t just the birds that are interested in the seed. You could even leave some food for the hedgehogs, they struggle at this time of year and struggle even more in general as humans block their natural routes to food.
This isn’t a time just for children, anyone can enjoy a story in nature, it doesn’t have to be read aloud. You can take your favourite book, find a peaceful spot and read whilst absorbing the sounds and smells of nature around you.
If you have children, take a story outside and read to them. You could even bring the story to life with acting and songs.
However you decide to let nature help you, just remember that it can only make things better. Enjoy all the time you can outside with your family. Leave technology at home and embrace the “world wood web” and all that it has to offer.