This is not what I was intending to write about today but after three days of glorious sunshine I couldn’t resist basking in the beauty of nature for just a little longer.
It was May Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK this weekend and miraculously the weather has been amazing! The sun has shone for three days straight. There hasn’t been a cloud in the sky, the birds have sung and the shops sold out of ice cream and barbecue food.
We have had my sister and her children staying for the weekend, escaping their building work and we have made the most of every minute of sunshine. We have spent time at the park, been for a walk and a picnic on Cannock Chase (a beautiful woodland), had another picnic and a walk at Stafford Castle and spent time in the garden.
The benefits of being out in nature
I’m sure I don’t need to tell any of you how lovely it is to be outside in the sunshine. The healing properties of that big ball of gas in the sky are powerful indeed. My children and I were discussing the fact that just the smell of suncream puts us in a good mood because you know that if you need suncream then it’s a beautiful day. There are so many smells of spring sunshine; blossom on the trees, fresh cut grass, barbecue smoke and washing on the line.
Then there are colours. The bright green of new foliage, the blue of the sky, the pink and white of blossom on the trees. The feel of the breeze on your skin, the sound of the birds in the trees, lawnmowers buzzing and of children playing. The senses are truly brought to life in this weather.
The science bit…
It isn’t just the mindful, sensory experience of being in nature that is so beneficial though – although that is wonderful for our well being. There are sound medical and scientific reasons why being in nature is beneficial too.
When we visit the seaside the air is full of negative ions, which despite how it sounds is really beneficial in helping us feel more positive.
When we spend time in trees we feel happier, the air is cleaner because the trees are natures air purifiers, the green colour is even believed to make you live longer, trees are natural healers.
When we go paddling the pebbles massage our feet and the water cools and washes them. Our feet feel instantly revived.
Just to add to the list of benefits, when we spend time outdoors we aren’t inside staring at a screen, we are usually walking or paddling or playing.
You don’t really need me to tell you that being in nature is good for you though do you?
You only need to do it, to feel it, to remember it to know that its calming, magical powers can take away even the heaviest of burdens and make you feel calm and happy again. If you are fortunate enough for that time in nature to be with loved ones then the benefits are ten fold.
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks”John Muir
When was the last time you took time to be in nature? To sit and relax in the garden, to walk through the woods, to paddle in a stream or in the sea?
If you can’t remember, then it’s time to get out there again. Go for a walk during your lunch break, walk to the shop instead of driving. Take time to visit your favourite garden, woodland or seaside spot. Your body and your well being will be glad you did.