Greetings! Now that we have added to our family with baby number 2 and the newborn fog has lifted (slightly…), I’m back! Welcome to Episode 3 in the Using Nature for Wellbeing series of guest blogs. You can read Episode 1 and Episode 2 by clicking the links. Today’s post is contributed by Michael V J Jones of GreenMoments. Michael and I connected via social media through our shared interests in nature for wellbeing. Through his channels Michael provides various aspects of well-being from nature focusing on Forest bathing and highlighting great local spots in his region to visit. With his canine companion he brings a light-hearted upbeat voice to the nature for wellbeing dialogue. In his own words, ‘GreenMoments’ enjoys promoting the benefits of Nature Connection from a ‘Nearby Nature’ point of view and also ‘GreenMomentsUK’ promoting UK places to enjoy GreenMoments NatureConnection. He has specific interests in Nature Connection Walks, Forest Bathing and Barefoot Earthing / Grounding and bringing this into modern UK Culture. Michael over to you!
My relationship with nature
This concept of ‘Nearby Nature’ usually means nature that is nearby to where you live but I think of it as nearby nature to wherever you are at any given time whether it’s by where you live, or by where you work or travel to. For example when I travel to other cities for a business conference I will always look for the nearby nature close to the conference centre or hotel I stay in.
OK so from a health, wellbeing and vitality point of view I connect with nature for both therapy reasons if I feel a bit blue and from a Positive Psychology / Flourishing point of view to help me be more creative and productive in whatever I have to do that day or week. For example, whenever I work in an office environment I always go on a walking lunch in nature, I have done this hundreds (maybe thousands) of times over the years in urban parks and along the coast of Merseyside (Wirral / Liverpool / Sefton). I do like nature-inspired ‘Biophilic Design’ in office workspaces but for the purpose of this ‘Nearby Nature’ blog I want to focus on nature time spent outdoors.
It’s interesting what I enjoy most about spending time in nature in the modern ‘Internet’ era. Before the Internet and social media I enjoyed hiking and camping in nature as part of my time in the Scouts and Duke of Edinburgh Award in the 90’s. These days I like to play the game so-to-speak at 50% ‘Nature Connection’ and 50% ‘Promoting’ Nature Connection (so taking pics and making videos in nature etc etc and sharing my content and experiences with other people online and offline. We all know that some people on Instagram go out into Nature and get pics taken just for the ‘likes’ they get on social media which I do have some ‘banter’ about (I do like to mix my Nature Connection promotion with humour) but I must say that I would rather have these people spending time in nature just for the ‘likes’ as opposed to sitting indoors all day.
I think with regard to protecting nature, I bring awareness to the endangered red squirrel via my promotion of National Trust Formby (or what I call ‘The Mersey Coastal Forest’ along The Sefton Coast and to conclude this blog I always get asked questions like: “If you could only pick one what would you choose……?” Trees or Beach / Forest Bathing or Earthing / Nature Connection or promoting Nature Connection?? The answers to such questions can change over time but I did say Trees over Beach this month so there’s one answer for you all.
All Social Media @michaelvjjones and @greenmomentsuk but please find me on ‘Nature Connection World’ too https://natureconnection.world/.