Spring Nature for Wellbeing workshop, Saturday 2nd March

Spring is my favorite time of year. It speaks to me of new beginnings, fresh energy and light, colour and life. Spring makes me feel excited for the rest of the year to come. This is what I’m feeling and channeling this week as I work on Wild Happy Well’s first big adventure of 2019!

On Saturday 2nd March, Wild Happy Well is running its first half-day Nature for Wellbeing workshop, at the stunning Folly Farm Centre and Nature Reserve, Bristol.

I’m so excited to share some of the information I’ve discovered over the last few years! It’s changing my life for the better: it’s helping me become a more authentic, grounded person by enabling me to recognise just how important nature is to my personal wellbeing and happiness. By understanding exactly what nature means to me and how I respond to natural stimuli, I’ve learned how, as an individual, I can gain the most out of being in nature to boost my happiness, serenity, and positive sense of self.

Spring Nature for wellbeing workshop
Spring makes me feel excited for the rest of the year to come!

Emerge from Winter into the light

For me, the Winter has been a time of retreat, inward focus, and reflection on the year past, readying myself for emergence into the light of the new year. This is what I hope to bring to this first exciting event! Let us embrace the Spring with our faces upturned towards the warming sun, embracing the nature we love in the ways that give us, as individuals, the most happiness, restoration, and refreshment.

This half day Nature for Wellbeing workshop will teach you about the evidence-based benefits nature can provide to your mental and physical health. We will explore the concept of nature connection and what nature means to us as individuals, then delving into proven pathways to greater nature connectedness that can help each and every one of us gain greater restorative benefits from being in the natural world.

Early bird discount for bookings made by 2nd Feb!

Let’s plan for better wellbeing

We’ll set up camp at the stunning and inspirational Folly Farm Centre, with its breath-taking views over Chew Valley Lake. We’ll take part in practical exercises such as meditation to tune our senses into nature, plus we’ll spend some glorious time outdoors forest bathing and getting a little green exercise on the 250-acre Folly Farm Nature Reserve! You’ll leave with a personal action plan of how you can move forward into Spring and Summer deepening your relationship with nature and enhancing the wellbeing benefits you receive from your time outdoors.

I’m working on this with my close friend and Super-Mama Powerhouse, Rebecca Megson-Smith from Ridley Writes. As part of the day, Rebecca will be leading and running exercises to guide us into expressive nature writing, using aspects of nature that mean the most to us as individuals. This gives greatest meaning, depth, and relevance to our written work and enhances our connection to nature because it builds on our personal historical relationship with nature.

Woodland of Folly Farm Nature Reserve
Woodland of Folly Farm Nature Reserve. Photo taken by me while exploring the woods with my toddler 🙂

Join us! Book your place now

To find out more information about our Nature for Wellbeing workshop and to secure your place, please click here. The workshop will run from 12 noon until 5pm and will include a wholesome, nourishing lunch provided by the fabulous kitchen of Folly Farm, plus oodles of tea, coffee and biscuits throughout the day!

We’re giving an Early Bird discount rate of just £39 for all bookings made by 2nd February! Places cost £49 thereafter.

I can’t wait to meet those taking part and hearing about how others enjoy and relate to nature. Join us on this exciting adventure into our ancient tendencies and what they can mean for us and our health today. Emerge into the Spring light, refreshed and restored, ready to greet the burgeoning year!

Nature improves our health and wellbeing: Part 2

Simple ways to enhance health and wellbeing

In Part 1, I introduced the wide range of scientific evidence proving that nature connection improves our health and wellbeing. Here in Part 2, I highlight some interesting facts we now know about how this happens. All studies referred to below are cited in The Wildlife Trusts’ report, mentioned in Part 1.

Looking at nature

Simply looking out of your window at a natural view – trees, fields, the coast – and noticing wildlife gives you and your family so much. Children who can view nature have better brain power and are more able to control their own behaviour – yes please! When you’re at work, nature views reduce stress and improve job satisfaction. Such a simple thing, but it could benefit employers so much through increased productivity and reduced sick pay! This I find incredibly powerful: hospital patients who can see nature outside get better more quickly, have fewer complications and need less pain relief. Next time you’re ill (I hope it’s a looong time away, if at all), see if you can regularly look at nature and see if you feel better quicker! Even looking at pictures of natural scenes has an effect – it relaxes your body and your mind.

Noticing the nature outside can help us feel good, improving wellbeing
Noticing the nature outside can help us feel good.

Nearby nature

I love this: using your local natural spaces helps you live longer! Woohoo, get me out there now then! It seems that using any green space has a strong positive effect on the general health and wellbeing of you and your family. It’s particularly important for children, strengthening their ability to cope with stress and improving brain power and attention. Stress reduction, enhanced immunity, more active lifestyles, lower crime rates and less aggression…spending time with your local nature can really do all this. I’ll explore the evidence for these claims in future posts as there’s just too much interesting stuff to include here and not write a tome!

Choosing to walk through local green space instead of driving, or simply having lunch in the park are great ways to experience the health and wellbeing benefits of nature for free!
Choosing to walk through local green space instead of driving, or simply having lunch in the park are great ways to experience the health and wellbeing benefits of nature for free!

Get your (active) greens

Green exercise is becoming a huge field in its own right. Just being in nature gives you benefits, just doing exercise gives you benefits – put the two together and BOOM, you get more bang for your natural buck (so to speak). The research shows that green exercise improves your health in three main areas:

  1. Psychological wellbeing
  2. Physical health
  3. Social networking

Exercising in many different environments give you these benefits, as do a variety of activities. Basically, get your active greens in whatever form you fancy and you’ll be benefiting from the synergy between nature and exercise. Interestingly, it’s the first 5 minutes of the exercise that gives you the most benefit so make those first minutes count by really being present in what you do.

Jogging in your local park can help you engage with nearby nature to improve health and wellbeing. Joining a running group is a great to get your active greens in company!
Jogging in your local park can help you engage with nearby nature to improve health and wellbeing. Joining a running group is a great to get your active greens in company!

 

Today’s task: In the comments tell me (a) your favourite natural scenes and why, (b) what green exercise do you enjoy and how do you think it benefits you?

In future posts I’ll be exploring what our wellbeing is and how you can use nature to improve yours. I’ll also be looking in greater detail at some of the recent science to find out HOW nature makes us feel good.