5 things to do in nature to boost your wellbeing this winter

5 things to do in nature to boost your wellbeing this winter

Spend­ing time in nature is a great way to ward off the win­ter blues. Here are five ways to work it into your day.

There’s no deny­ing it – win­ter is well and tru­ly upon us, and for many peo­ple that can mean a slight change in mood. You may not be able to put your fin­ger on what exact­ly is wrong, but with the impacts of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, gloomy win­ter weath­er and also few­er day­light hours, it’s nat­ur­al to feel less moti­vat­ed and a lit­tle off’ in the win­ter months.

Win­ter is a real­ly impor­tant time to focus your ener­gy on look­ing after your men­tal health and well­be­ing. Get­ting a reg­u­lar dose of nature is a great way to achieve this.

Evi­dence shows that spend­ing time in the great out­doors can help reduce your stress lev­els, improve your con­cen­tra­tion and gen­er­al­ly help you to feel happier.

So what are you wait­ing for? Step out­side and incor­po­rate any of these sim­ple five actions into your day or week.

1. Con­nect

Con­nect­ing with fam­i­ly, friends, or even your neigh­bours can help give you a sense of belong­ing. Head to a local park or nation­al park with the peo­ple that mat­ter the most to you, go for a walk or a camp­ing trip and reconnect.

Win­ter is a great time for camp­ing as you can rug up and share sto­ries around a camp­fire. There are plen­ty of great camp­ing spots close to met­ro­pol­i­tan Ade­laide if you are look­ing for a quick escape. Mount Remark­able Nation­al Park has fan­tas­tic camp­ing facil­i­ties if you are look­ing for a more remote getaway.

2. Be active

Get out­doors and stay active in win­ter – it’ll get your endor­phins flow­ing. You don’t have to head to the gym either: walk­ing, run­ning and or rid­ing in a park can be incred­i­bly refresh­ing and even more enjoy­able in cool­er weather.

Pick some­where pic­turesque for a walk, such as along the coast or on a des­ig­nat­ed walk­ing trail, or try some­thing else that gets the blood pump­ing, like organ­is­ing a footy match with friends in the park.

3. Keep learning

Learn­ing new things is a good way to keep your mind active and give you a sense of achieve­ment, which is great for your well­be­ing. Take your learn­ing out­doors with an activ­i­ty like grow­ing your own veg­eta­bles or nature pho­tog­ra­phy.

You might also like to start a back­yard project by learn­ing how to attract insects, birds or bees to your gar­den, how to set up a rain­gar­den or how to turn your kitchen and gar­den waste into com­post.

Become a cit­i­zen sci­en­tist and learn about how you can con­tribute to sci­en­tif­ic research to help pro­tect our nat­ur­al environment.

4. Take notice

Tru­ly immerse your­self in nature by tak­ing notice of your sur­rounds. Los­ing your­self in the moment can help you feel calm and relaxed, and help you appre­ci­ate the sim­ple things we some­times take for grant­ed. Take notice of the chang­ing colours in nature over the win­ter months, the bare trees, the smell of rain, or the lush­ness of the green grass.

Win­ter is per­fect time to enjoy some of SA’s beau­ti­ful water­falls. If you need a help­ing hand to relax, you might like to try guid­ed for­est bathing. Win­ter is also a great time to take notice of some of our incred­i­ble wildlife – it’s whale watch­ing sea­son and the time to swim with giant Aus­tralian cut­tle­fish.

5. Give

There are also many oppor­tu­ni­ties to give in nature, whether it’s shar­ing some­thing from the gar­den or giv­ing on a big­ger scale by donat­ing some of your time to an envi­ron­men­tal char­i­ty or cause. You can’t put a price on the joy you get from giving.

Any­thing from shar­ing your home-grown veg­gies with your next-door neigh­bour to weed­ing the nature strip on your street will leave you with the warm fuzzies.

Mak­ing small changes like these can be just what you need this win­ter to lift your mood, recharge your bat­ter­ies, and boost your wellbeing.

These actions are known as theFive Ways to Well­be­ing in Nature, part of theHealthy Parks Healthy Peo­ple SAini­tia­tive which is focused on the strong con­nec­tions between nature and wellbeing.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in June 2018.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living