As human beings we’re very much a part of nature. But modern living, with its bright lights, fast pace and ever expanding technology, can distract and disconnect us from the natural world.
During this pandemic, in such a challenging time of fear and despair, one truly positive factor has emerged:
Our reconnection with nature
For many of us ‘lockdown’ has meant an opportunity to spend more time than we normally would outdoors. With our ‘daily walks’ now becoming such a cherished part of our lives, we’ve rediscovered the living, breathing world around us and begun to remember (because deep down we’ve always known!) it’s innate healing power.
There’s much scientific evidence that highlights the positive impact ‘the great outdoors’ has on our physical and mental health. Getting outside, even for just a short amount of time each day, has proven and significant benefits.
From lowering heart rate and blood pressure, to boosting immune system and aiding sleep, connection between nature and wellbeing has long been recognised.
But over the course of this past year more and more of us have turned to nature for solace and sanctuary
Recent research commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation found that over half of UK adults surveyed, said spending time in nature helped them cope with Covid related stress.
Tuning into the sights and sounds of the landscape and wildlife around us engages our senses and connects us to the present moment. It allows us to ‘switch off’ from the stresses of our daily lives, offering respite and retreat from our worries and woes. The feelings of awe and wonder that we experience upon witnessing events such as sunsets and sunrises can have a truly profound and long lasting effect on our psyche.
Even though, at the moment, we aren’t able to travel far, spending time each day in the same, familiar green spaces can bring such a deep sense of connection, as we grow to know and understand the flora and fauna that surrounds us.
For me personally, there’s something so reassuring and dependable to be found within the cycles of nature, which act as an invaluable anchor and support in uncertain times.
Learning to lean into the rhythms of the seasons, and just observing the small changes that occur daily in my garden and local woodland, gives me that much needed sense of ‘knowing’.
Whatever chaos and confusion reigns elsewhere, the sun always rises and sets, winter always leads to spring, and the ebbs and flows of life exist in a perfect, harmonious balance in the spaces in between.
As I write this now, fresh new shoots are beginning to push through the earth in the green spaces around me. Buds are starting to appear on the branches of the trees and the birds become a little more vocal, as each day grows longer and lighter.
We are edging slowly, but oh so surely, towards the brighter days of spring.
Pandemic or not, none of us can ever be certain of what the future has in store. But, just as sure as day follows night, we can always trust in the positive power of nature.
Words by @derryjayne
Derry is a Yoga teacher and Holistic Health Therapist with over 20 years of experience working in the world of fitness & wellbeing. A nature enthusiast and wildlife lover, Derry is an advocate for Seasonal Living and loves to bring elements of this into her practices and teaching.