How being out in nature can help your mental health

Mmmmm autumn

Don’t you just love this season, the leaves on the trees turn firey ambers and golden yellows readying up for the leaves to fall and push us into winter.

This time of year always makes me feel snuggly and warm. It allows the introvert in me to recluse into my own little world nestle down and get creative, eat wholesome foods and lounge around drinking cups of tea and watching films.

I find autumn really fires up my creative flare. Ideas of creating art with the beautiful colours that nature provides us with the changing colours of the leaves. It makes me want to create balancing stone sculptures in rivers and land mandalas out of leaves.

This year is a new experience of autumn with a little person. When I became pregnant I knew that I wanted to spend more time outdoors, moving my body and enjoying walks with my family and friends and lapping up what nature has to offer.

Nature brings out the adventurer in me, it grounds me and clears my head. Sometimes it can be easy to loose yourself in being a mum and I found in the early months (Well earlier than now which is 4 months as a mama) to stay in and loose the day with sorting baby and the house out. I have really had to make an effort to go outside every day because it settles my soul and brings me back down to earth.

Doing the job I do working from home on my laptop means that it’s easy to get sucked into laptops and other devices and I really don’t want to teach my son bad habits and addiction to technology. I guess that’s why I am making an effort to create a habit of being in nature everyday now whilst he’s so little.

I want him to get muddy and splash in puddles. To enjoy being out in the woods and paddling in streams. And also because I really want to do that to! I mean I did before but having a child seems to have given me extra permission to go and be a kid myself. You only live once and I feel its super important to tap into our inner child because really, were all big kids dying to let go of the stresses of daily living and play with the world around us.

I know I certainly do and I admire that quality in children. Their wild curiosity and imagination.

I want a bit of that for myself..!

Gardening is something I am starting to get into, we now have a little allotment we are preparing with love and so excited to let little squashman adventure and get his hands muddy with us in the process. Whilst we were away on a road trip down to Dartmoor I watched one of Monty Dons gardening programs and it was speaking about the research that is now being developed into gardening and mental health. It made me look into nature and its benefits on mental health and what research is finding (although it’s clearly obvious when you spend in nature yourself, you can FEEL that its doing your system a whole lotta good!) that being outside in nature can help with anxiety and depression. Two things that new mothers can experience at such an incredible vulnerable time as they find their feet in being a new mother and looking after a baby human 24 hours a day on broken sleep.

Mental health is something that is very important to me and I am incredibly passionate about.  I have suffered from incredible all-consuming anxiety after having my baby and being out and about has helped me overcome it and learn to manage it when it does come a knocking.

It inspired me to be outdoors more even if it’s for 15-30 minutes a day.

So if you’re feeling stuck, a bit lost and the walls are closing in on you I invite you to get your walking boots on and get yourself outside. Go and sit by a river and listen to the sound of it flowing by. Or go into the woods and listen to the wind blowing through the trees. If your feeling creative and don’t mind getting your hands dirty collect lots of natural object you find in the woods and make a mandala out of leaves and twigs, a perfect activity to do in autumn because of all the gorgeous colours mother nature provides us as she winds down before winter.

Take your shoes off, get your feet muddy (even if it is cold) and breathe in the beautiful world around you!