...Roll on through the months now and we’re in lockdown #2, where we can meet a friend for outdoor recreation, and even take our pre-schoolers with us. And now look at the weather. Instead of that summer sun, it’s the rain that’s pouring, and the wind is blustering and the leaves are swirling and the mud is squelch-squelch-squelching.
Some of us adore this season. Some of us really, really don’t. But if you can get past the grimacing-at-the-window stage and wrap yourself and your little one up in your waterproofs, you might just find that everything feels, well, a bit better.
There’s an oft-quoted (by me) study by Dr. Miles Richardson of the University of Derby, called ‘Three Good Things in Nature’. The reseachers asked a group of people to note down three good things in nature every day, for just five days in a row. A number of months later, this group still showed improvements in psychological health compared to a control group, who had been asked to note three factual things each day. The explanation for their finding is the apparently measurable phenomenon of ‘nature-connectedness’ – those of us who feel more connected to nature are more likely to feel happy, to feel that we belong, and to engage in more physical activity, while we are less likely to suffer with anxiety or stress.