There is growing evidence that spending time in nature is effective at improving our mood and mental wellbeing (see this external document) - as well as improving our physical health.
It has been shown that spending time in nature:
REDUCES: stress, blood pressure, depression, anxiety, rumination, ADHD symptoms, and our experience of pain.
INCREASES: mood, self esteem, energy, and our ability to direct and restore attention.
Health professionals increasingly prescribe spending time in nature.
Find a natural space nearby - check out the "satellite view" in Google Maps to help identify a park, woodland, or water near you - you might be surprised!
Aim to spend 30 minutes in nature: Walk, run, cycle or other activity where you engage with nature.
- Walk in the park: get off the bus 3-4 stops earlier, or park the car nearby on your commute to work.
- Gardening: at home or with a local community group (search online, or ask at your local library).
- Volunteer with a local charity or community group such as those working with animals or the environment.
- Do your bit for the environment by collecting rubbish or recyclables from the park, canal path or beach or just as you walk around the neighbourhood.
- Collect shells, pebbles or driftwood from the beach, or acorns and leaves from the park or woodland.
- Notice the local birdlife, paying attention to the different appeances and sounds. You may want to learn more about birdwatching.
- Get out of your head so that you learn to notice the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of being in nature - more about mindfulness here or use 54321.
- If actually doing these things still seems like too much, use imagery as the first step!
Depression Self Help
ACE: Achieve, Connect, Enjoy
Mindfulness & Mindful Activity