If the thought of the week ahead is stressing you out, try adding some mindfulness to your life. There’s an ever growing amount of research that shows the health benefits of mindfulness (and it can help your work performance too.)
Adding mindfulness to your life can be as simple as downloading an app. I’m a big fan of Calm. It’s full of soothing nature imagery and audio, and you can test it for free. I love the soothing Scottish tones of Joyful Nature too. She offers a virtual nature retreat along with this free meditation.
However, for me, nature offers the best way to ‘be present’ and appreciate the moment. It’s a gentle multi-sensory delight that is full of magic, if you look closely enough.
Here are a few ways I love to connect with nature. Try doing one each day this week and see how it makes you feel. And if it feels good, do it again…
Watch the Bees
Bees are fascinating to watch. Lose yourself in lavender and watch the way they work. How many kinds of bee do you see?
Any kind of foraging works but there’s a mindful joy to blackberrying in particular. You need to focus to avoid getting ‘brambled’. You need to apply the perfect pressure to pull the berry from the bush without getting purple fingers. And the delicious smell helps keep you ‘in the moment’ (and may tempt you to taste that moment.)
Feed the Birds
From ducks on the waterways to pigeons in the park, there are plenty of birds to feed. However, make sure you use birdseed, or other bird-safe food, not bread, as it’s bad for them.
Find a Rainbow
Lose yourself in flowers by seeing whether you can find flowers every colour of the rainbow. Share them next Sunday on Twitter using #Rainbowblooms.
If you’ve got foraged berries, jam making is an easy pathway to happiness. I love the calming sound as it bubbles, and the smell is even better. Stirring is soothing and there’s a primal pleasure in turning something you’ve picked into something you can eat.
Stare at the Clouds
An easy way to entertain yourself for hours, just look up. What stories can you see? Let your stress float away with the clouds.
Watch the Sun Set (or Rise)
Nature puts on a light show each dawn and dusk. Take the time to appreciate it.