How do you connect with nature? This topic is something of a departure from the usual topics covered on our blog, but nevertheless, just as important. But why? Well, because as we continue to move forwards through the pandemic, and try to protect our small businesses, there has never been a more important time to look after our mental health. Indeed, recent research shows that 86% of female small business owners report negative experiences in this area. And so it’s vital that we acknowledge the importance of Mental Health Awareness Week. Looking after ourselves as well as our businesses is also a key part of the Tabono philosophy.
Which brings us back to nature – this year’s theme. Spending time in nature has been proven to be beneficial for mental health, including for anxiety and depression. According to this research from Harvard Medical School, benefits can be gained from just 20-30 minutes, a few times per week.
So how do you connect with nature? Everyone’s experiences are different, but here are a few ideas:
1) Grow your own
For me, this is a great way of connecting with nature, and something I do a lot! I love seeing the things I’ve planted grow, and then of course eating the results! At the moment, I have garlic, onion, carrots, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries on the way! I enjoy looking after my pots and veg trug, and I get a lot of satisfaction (and also nutritional!) benefits from doing so! What’s not to love?
No – when it comes to environmentalists, I’m most definitely not talking Greta Thunberg, David Attenborough or even Swampy! I’m actually talking about my seven year old daughter! Since learning more about the environment and the ‘3 Rs’ (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), she has become utterly inspired. She loves litter picking, building homes for ladybirds and hedgehogs, and when asked recently about what worries her most about her future, ‘the environment’ was her immediate answer. It’s so inspiring to watch and listen to her, and to learn from her, that her connection to nature really rubs off!
3) Walk, walk, walk
My third suggestion for connecting with nature is quite simple – to get out in it! To put one foot in front of the other, and explore! I think we’re pretty lucky to live where we do in that there are so many different landscapes to discover whether it be the coasts, the Scottish mountains, or the wilds of the moors. But equally, getting out into nature doesn’t necessarily mean a full on expedition to another part of the country. You could explore your local area – you never know what you might find!
So what about you? What are your favourite ways to connect with nature? Let us know in the comments, and let’s build a list to inspire each other!