Christmas can have a negative impact on our mental health.
Christmas can be a stressful time for many reasons. Moreover the pressure to be joyful can be too much. Peace is a word that appears on many Christmas cards but is noticeably absent in many of our celebrations.
Unsurprisingly, my best tip for feeling better is to spend time in nature. Watching birds flocking across a winter sky or watching a Robin singing it’s heart out helps me appreciate the present moment. Significantly, Mind talk about the benefits of nature on our mental health. Furthermore, The Mental Health Foundation’s nature report it’s the connectivity we feel with nature that effects our much benefit we get from being in nature.
Encouraging connectivity with nature
For this reason, at Forest School we encourage learners to spend time just being and observing the changes in the wild area and what’s going on. While telling stories that describe the habits of animals and reference the sounds, smells and textures of nature encourages connectivity. Time spent in the woods has helped improve the mental health of children we offer alternative provision for through Woodventurers and the SEN children that take part in our Schools Programme. A study by Swansea University reveals that spending time delivering Forest School or Outdoore Learning sessions improve teachers job satisfaction mental health too.
Natural tips too feel better
If you are feeling a bit blue at this time of year. By all means, try these quick nature fixes to give yourself a Christmas treat.
- See if you can find somewhere with a view of wide open sky; a hill, a beach, a fen, a large park. Enjoy feeling small.
- Find a bird to watch and just watch it for a few minutes.
- Watch a sunrise/sunset.
- Look for colour in nature weather that be on birds or berries.
- Make a picture our of leaves and berries. Get lost in creating.
- Invite people to sit round a campfire.
- Go for a walk.
- Make a natural bird feeder.
Finally, the info graphic below draws awareness to the fact not everyone finds Christmas easy. I hope that the suggestions offered help you have a happy Christmas.