Hello, and a very Happy New Year to all of you! It’s Day One of the Jump Start January mini challenge, and as usual we’ll be starting off gently in case you were partying the night away on New Year’s Eve.
Our first daily activity is one of the many activities that make up the general Self Care topic area, and you can start it in your own time and go at your own pace. The task today is to get out into nature, even if it’s only for ten minutes. Make a point of looking around and appreciating it.
Why does this boost our happiness or increase our wellbeing?
When we take time out to appreciate the beauty of nature it tends to make us feel calmer, happier, and more connected with the environment and the planet we live on. Many people also say that it helps them to clear their heads of stresses and worries, to find perspective, or to feel more inspired and creative.
Whether you enjoy the charms of landscapes, plants or animals there’s bound to be a sight that will appeal to you.
Ideas for finding a beautiful view
You might already have something that springs to mind when you think of an inspiring view or environment. For example, many of us are mesmerised by the grand scale of mountains or oceans, or large forests. If you’re lucky enough to live near one of these locations, make the most of it today.
There may also be a beauty spot near your home. This could be rolling hills, woodland, a reservoir, a lake or a meandering river that you could visit.
Alternatively, there could be some man-made natural beauty nearby, even if you’re in an urban environment. Think about local parks, botanical gardens, fields and hedgerows. Even a local café with flower-filled window boxes could be a good place to find your nature fix.
Feeling poorly, reduced mobility, or snowed in today?
If you can’t get outside today, try watching a nature documentary and marvel at the scale and wonder of our amazing planet. For example, at 3.30pm today BBC One will be showing Oceans of Wonder, a compilation of some of the best bits from Blue Planet II. What could be better than stunning underwater footage and the soothing, knowledgeable tones of Sir David Attenborough?
You could also look through old holiday photos and remember any stunning locations you’ve visited, or set your favourite nature picture to be a screensaver on your phone or computer so you can see it every day. Even a few minutes looking at nature pictures or travel snaps on Instagram or Pinterest might do the trick, and depending on your personal taste you could be looking at all kinds of showstopping flowers, gardens, landscapes or seascapes.
What we’re doing here
There’s a tiny, tiny nature reserve in the local park a couple of streets from our house, so we’ll be taking a walk around the pond, feeding the squirrels and looking out for other wildlife today. Then we’re going into Chinatown for a bustling bargain lunch – most places will be business as usual because Chinese New Year is a different date.
What will you be doing today to immerse yourself in nature? Let us know how you get on.
If you enjoy this activity, think about how you could include more of it in your life in the coming weeks and months.