You would be forgiven for feeling somewhat unbalanced as of late. We’ve all had a range of difficult circumstances to attend to in the last year, and we need not provide too much preamble regarding that here.
That said, sometimes it can be hard to know exactly how and when to practice self-care, especially when lockdowns mean that the tasks or stress-busters you used to enjoy, such as working out in the gym, are unavailable to you as of now.
Thankfully, there’s one golden resource that is all around us, that helps restore us, and can provide us the sense of adventure we need in a safe context. Getting out in nature. What does this mean in the long run? Well, Spring and Summer are on the way, and the blossoming good fortune and warm weather that comes with that. It’s an optimistic and considered time. It can help us feel more like ourselves, and more willing to practice a little self-care discipline.
Let’s see how nature can help us restore our balance, especially in a year like 2021:
Walking Your Pet
Spending some time, one on one, with your pet in nature can be lovely. Walking your dog around the park, playing fetch with a ball, spending some time running with them even, can help you feel relaxed and well-exercised with your little furry friend.
Often, this can help you come across other dogwalkers in a positive sense, perhaps talking to one another in a socially-distanced manner, which can be very nice if you’ve otherwise been going without social contact in lockdown. At the very least, taking a morning walk can reset and restore us for the day, helping us feel like we’re more ourselves, and giving us an excuse to get out of the house. Furthermore, caring for your dog helps this walk feel a little more novel and enjoyable each time, even if you simply spend some time sat on a park bench with a cup of coffee.
Restoring Your Garden
Now that the winter months are starting to dethaw and the temperature is beginning to crawl out of the minus numbers, restoring your garden is something of a real possibility.
Have fun with it. A garden shouldn’t be seen as a set of maintenance chores (even though you could pedantically break down some of the work as this if you wanted), but rather a means by which to express yourself and your creativity. Why not do something completely different to last year, making this a real project? Having this place where you can de-stress and feel comfortable is perhaps one of the nicest and most enjoyable activities you can enjoy, and it shouldn’t be disregarded as silly in the least.
This is especially true if you take some real inspiration from other gardens or tools you can utilize. Poplar nurseries, for example, offer a range of gorgeous plants and vegetable seeds to help you get the leg-up on your garden this year, perhaps convincing you to segment space for that potato or pumpkin patch after all. Anyone who gardens regularly just can’t help themselves proselytizing about the benefits of working your green thumb, and you’ll hear absolutely no complaint about that here. They’re right.
Visiting Historical Sites & Natural Parks
Viewing history such as heading to the open grounds of castles, and enjoying natural national parks can be a great use of your time. These places have been preserved and protected for a reason. In the midst of the Covid pandemic, many of them have pivoted and have enforced social distancing measures, but still remain largely unaffected by tourism, perhaps implementing book features rather than free-for-all access.
This can provide a lovely day out for your family. Spending some time relaxing in this environment, seeing incredible views, reading the public information boards about local forests, well, they help you see what’s around you again, and just what the local geography of your area has to offer. Often, it’s much more than you may have given it credit for in the past.
What does this mean in the long run? It’s quite clear that it can provide you not only a means of feeling less cooped up inside your home, but that you’re learning something. There are many outdoor events and theatre spaces now catering to Covid-19 requirements. For instance, Shakespearean companies are taking the format of how his plays were regularly showcased, outside, to an audience in a field, and helping both the young and old fall in love with those stories again and again. Historical and natural sites and parks has plenty to offer – don’t be afraid to seek it out.
Getting Some Exercise
It can be worthwhile to get some exercise from time to time, of course. It might be that you decide upon a local running route and commit to a program like Couch 2 5k to get in shape, incrementally and comfortably. It’s very easy to assume that since the gyms are closed, most of the exercises we could have committed to are now unavailable.
But often, public exercise equipment, walking routes, running routes, bicycle lanes and park avenues, all of this can come together to help you stay in shape. Make sure to plan your route, dress up appropriately for the weather, invest in the right footwear (with great grip), and realize just how restorative running among trees can be. Not only does this help you enjoy greater freedom than when stuck on the treadmill in the gym, but it helps you gain deep lungfuls of the freshest air you possibly could. That, if nothing else, can provide you with a sense of confidence, starting each day off in the right way, or completely shedding the built-up stressors of your week. In that way, you’ll feel absolutely grateful for the effort, through and through.
With this advice, we hope you can use nature to restore your balance in 2021. This belies a less-obvious and powerful lesson – it was there for us all along.