I’ve written about the potential benefits of taking a break from therapy over the summer – but if you are lucky enough to get away from the Big Smoke where I practice and live, and far into nature, your mental health may well benefit from that simple act alone. It’s not just me – or many of my clients – that report an improvement in mood and general wellbeing after spending time by the coast, trekking through the wild, or camping in open green fields. Of course we benefit from slowing down our pace when we take a break from day to day life, but the power of living in natural surroundings helps us too. Research is catching up with what many of us intuitively know about this, and some therapies take nature therapy in its literal sense, for example forest bathing isn’t just practiced in Japan.
Nature teaches us, and brings us, many things: to be in the present moment when it calls us to listen (to waves, to birdsong, to wind or rain) or to stop and look (at a butterfly landing on a flower or the intricacies of a pebble on a beach); to exercise, to breathe better air…..but also it reminds us of where we have been separated from over the years, and need to get back to.