With the children clamouring to go “treasure hunting” again (geocaching), and having not been outside since forest school on Friday (apart from the awful trip to the vets, and a brief walk last night when I didn’t know where to put my hands with not having to hold a dog), I knew it was time to save my own sanity and head outside into nature. Nature is after all therapy for the mind. Nature is known to induce calm and decrease stress, as well as increasing happiness. Nature is food for our minds, like food and water are for our bodies. This is because the natural environment places no demands on us, yet it remains engaging. It gets our attention in different ways. It can promote calmness and well being due to being a low stress environment.
Nature can help increase our happiness levels, which mine could do with at the moment! The breathing in of fresh air, combined with taking exercise with a nice view, all helps to put your mind into a happier place. Nature makes us healthier. It increases our exposure to natural light, which in turn helps increase our vitamin D levels. This helps prevent some health problems, but also being outdoors helps improve sleep, decreases stress, and increase energy…something else I’ve been lacking in. When we are outdoors together, with no distractions such as housework, jobs, or work, we are all sharing an activity and creating memories that again gives therapy to our minds. The children are reaping the benefits too. My trio are always happier in big open spaces, running free. It gives them a sense of freedom that you don’t get from being indoors. It impacts their health too, helping prevent health conditions, a big one in their generation being obesity. It also helps children focus more after being outdoors, which in turn can increase learning (even better if the learning is in the outdoors environment). It helps increase their confidence. After being outdoors for three hours this morning walking and looking for caches in the summer weather of wind and rain, they were quite happy to play with the play dough this afternoon for over two hours at the kitchen table.
If you are lucky too, you will be rewarded with a very quiet lunch preparing half hour 😉 as they all stripped their waterproofs and wellies off, and plonked themselves on the sofa, asking for stories on the CD player!!
Whilst, I’m not naive enough to think that all of my troubles, or anyone else’s, will be washed away by a walk in nature, immersing oneself in it for a few hours certainly made me feel more like myself. Our little lady commented on the way back how much Jack would have enjoyed that as it was such a long walk…although last week when geocaching with him, he did get a little confused as to why we disappeared into bushes for such long periods of time!!! 🙂