Get into nature
Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, but it can also contribute to your physical wellbeing.
What is it?
Simply paying attention to nature! Even small amounts of time in nature can improve our mood. This could be going somewhere different, paying attention to what's around you, growing things or helping out.
How does it help?
The Mental Health Foundation has found that people visiting and noticing nature is particularly important in supporting their wellbeing. Research shows that people who are more connected with nature are more likely to report feeling their lives are worthwhile. Nature can generate a number of positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, and creativity, it can also improve concentration.
- Spending time in nature, bringing it into your home or making it part of your everyday life can also:
- Enhance your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress- research has shown that the connectedness you feel with nature can contribute to your wellbeing even when you aren’t physically immersed in it.
- Help you take some time out which can make you feel more relaxed
- Improve your physical health as it can help you to be more active
- Help you to reduce feelings of loneliness by getting you to connect to your local community and to meet new people
- Increase your self-esteem
How do I do it?
Here are some examples of what “getting into nature” can include:
- Pay attention to nature wherever you are, even if you live in a city you can walk around your local area and take in the trees, birds or the sky.
- Exercise outside- this could include walking, jogging or even doing yoga.
- Bring nature indoors by having some plants or flowers within your own home. You could also listen to natural sounds or watch videos of nature.
- If you have access to a garden or a window sill box you could grow some herbs or flowers.
- Look for local green spaces. Your local council should have information about parks or nature reserves near you.
- Grow food with others. Apply to share an allotment, or look for community gardens in your local area.
- Watch the stars- you could use a stargazing website, book or app to support you with this, or simply enjoy focusing on the night sky.
- Keep a record of what you notice about nature and how it changes with the seasons, you could take photos or make notes in a diary or scrapbook or on your phone.
- Build an animal habitat. For example, a bird box or a hedgehog house or you could hang a bird feeder outside your window.
- Try pet-sitting or dog walking. If you don’t have your own pet or dog you could offer to be a pet sitter, volunteer to walk dogs for an animal shelter, or ask to borrow a friend's dog for occasional walks.
- Volunteer for a conservation project.
- Take part in a Nature survey- this could involve counting birds, animals or insects in a particular time or place and reporting individual sightings of wildlife.
The Royal Horticultural Society
The Royal Horticultural Society is a charity that wants to inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants, promote the value of gardens, demonstrate how gardening is good for us and explain the vital role that plants play.The Royal Horticultural Society
Thrive is a national charity that uses gardening to change lives.Thrive
The National Allotment Society
The National Allotment Society (NAS) is the leading national organisation upholding the interests and rights of the allotment community across the UK. They work with government at national and local levels, other organisations and landlords to provide, promote and preserve allotments for all. They offer support, guidance and advice to their members and those with an interest in allotment gardening.The National Allotment Society
The Woodland Trust
This is the UK's largest woodland conservation charityThe Woodland Trust
The National Trust
This is Europe’s largest conservation charity, they look after nature, beauty and history for the nation to enjoy.The National Trust
Bumblebee conservation Trust
Bumblebee conservation surveysBumblebee Conservation Trust Surveys
RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
The Big Garden Birdwatch surveyThe Big Garden Birdwatch survey