What a time we find ourselves in right now! This crazy new situation of ever shifting boundaries of limitations, working from home and new online challenges has left many of us with a sense of imbalance. Now is the time to start using the most amazing resource we have to help us find a new balance. Nature is free! Let’s draw inspiration from it and allow us to re-calibrate and be in touch with ourselves and each other too.
Here’s 10 ways to re-wild yourself in these crazy times:
Colour has a really strong impact on our psychological state and we can use colour in the garden to create spaces which enhance wellbeing and balance. When you think about gardens what is the first colour that comes to mind? You will undoubtedly answer green and this is no surprise considering that green is the colour of most planting and considered the colour most associated with springtime, nature and growth. Did you know though that there are actual physical effects on your body when you surround yourself with green? Green is said to stimulate your pituitary gland, which makes your blood histamine levels increase and it leads to lower blood pressure. No wonder green has a calming effect on your body. So simply by being out in the green garden we get a boost to our wellbeing and start to connect with nature on a psychological level.
This seems so simple but looking at nature is one of the best ways to find balance and calm. By really zooming in on a plant, a flower, a piece of moss, and really placing all your focus on it you are actually partaking in a form of meditation. Especially for people who find it hard to find their focus in meditation because their mind is racing -just studying a plant and its finer details can be a wonderful way to re-balance the busy brain. It’s fascianting how calming it is when you really take in the shapes, the lines of leaf, the textures and the shapes and movement of petals. It really is the little things.
How often do you actually look at your food and consider where it all comes from? Everything we eat has an origin and when we start to consider the things we put in our bellies and trace back their journey we start having a whole new appreciation of food. It’s the conneciton of soil to plate which is so often lost andin busy times we forget about the delicate and sophisticated process that goes into sowing a seed, planting it out, maintaining it and harvesting it when it comes to maturity. Taking a more considered approach to food also means we start to connect to the importance of buying seasonal, local and also going for the healthier and more humane choices when it comes to buying products.
The garden is the best place to take five minutes break. Even without doing anything in the garden, by simply sitting in it and breathing we take ourselves out of the everyday stresses of our lives and give our brains a break from WFH, online schooling and daily stresses. Especially now, try and take a moment for yourself and spend five minutes just sitting somewhere in the garden.
We often don’t realise how calming sound can be. It’s when we take away the choice of sight that we start to feel the benefits of how powerful sound can be. Go to the garden and close your eyes- what can you hear? Can you hear plants which rustle in the breeze? Or maybe some water? Can you hear birdsong or insects buzzing? Take in 5 minutes of nature sounds and I bet you’re feeling a lot more chilled!
For many of us the idea of having our gardens ‘completed’ to be admired feels like the ultimate goal but this is impossible. Gardens are always in flux and if the constant maintenance feels like a chore it’s worth remembering that the actual maintaining and digging in the garden is so good for us. Even if you are a lazy gardener (and let’s admit it-who really has the time to be gardening all the time?) it is worth knowing that studies have found that soil doesn’t just affect the plants that grow within it. Soil can actually get rid of the blues in humans! In fact it contains microbes called Mycobacterium vaccae, which have a similar effect on our system as prozac!
As humans we are never done learning and so many of us are hungry for knowledge, inspiration and also the connection which online forums and courses bring us. I love reading books about all sorts of things- from re-wilding to achitecture, fashion and art.
If you’re hungry for inspiration doing a course in something you’re interested in -like gardens for example- is a great way to get out of your head and to connect with like-minded people. Try some cooking courses, online meditations or a garden course like my new Wellness Garden course which is coming up in April.
Excercising in fresh air is so much better than with air conditioning. Fresh air is so beneficial to our lungs and even by opening a window and allowing stagnant air to be replaced by fresh air we are purifying our homes as well as flushing out our lungs.
It also allows us a stronger connection to the wild as we excercise fresh air stimulates the brain so much.
The excitement of seeing little sprouts come out of the soil turns many of us into kids at Christmas . The psychology of it is linked to the value we place on something which we have sown ourselves and the feeling of satisfaction we experience when we successfully grow something. It’s a reward for taking the time to plan, plant, maintain, water and eventually results in the pleasure of a plant which we can enjoy with various senses.
I think planning your own wildly beautiful garden space is the absolutely best way of making it a place you want to be in. By making it a liveable and usable space which brings you joy every day you are creating moments for you and your family to relax, entertain and let your everyday unfold. How to get started? Read some design books, get inspired on Pinterest or book an online design course which is a great idea for helping you get your ideas structured and started.