All the current data is pointing towards the UK heading into another national lockdown, with some areas of the country already experiencing tighter restrictions.
Although we’re weathering the same storm, we’re not all in the same boat. As many of us face the potential loss of personal connection with friends and loved ones, and the stress and financial strain that may accompany the possible loss of job or income – how can we create coping strategies to help us face the challenges of the next few months?
Jennifer Stevens, Communications Manager for TreeSisters, the UK-based global reforestation charity, shares seven ways that Nature can help us survive and thrive through the next round of Lockdown and beyond.
- Spend time outside: Even in the wet winter months, spending time in Nature has been proven to be good for you. It can reduce your risk of getting a variety of illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, and it improves your sleep quality. A walk, even in the snow or the wind, can dramatically improve your sense of wellbeing.
- Grow a tropical forest: The current rapid rate of deforestation has been directly linked to climate change, severe weather patterns and even the increase in zoonotic diseases. Our forests are vital for our health and survival. You can take the future of our planet into your own hands and instantly grow a tropical forest. Don’t worry, this is possible even if you have limited outside space! Donate to TreeSisters and you will be funding the planting of tropical trees every single month. A tree is only £0.40 so with a monthly donation of £10 you could grow a forest of 240 trees every year!
- Maximise on winter wildlife: It’s easy to feel like you might want to hibernate. But did you know that winter offers exciting opportunities to see things that don’t happen at any other time? This time of year, step outside just before sunset and you might have the chance to see the starling murmurations as hundreds of these birds gather together to create patterns in the sky.
- Get crafty: This time of year, Nature offers us some of the best natural materials to get creative with. Whether it’s pressing autumn leaves or needle felting Halloween decorations, creating with Nature is a beautiful way to connect with the landscape around you. It can also be a great way to reduce screen time. With no sign of home-working ending soon, it’s really important to ensure we take screen holidays. Having a craft project is a really easy way to get you off-line.
- Try a Nature-based meditation: We all know that investing in our mental wellbeing is important during a time of increased stress. But did you know that bringing Nature into your meditations can be incredibly nourishing? TreeSisters have created a number of free, Nature-based meditations for anyone to try out, even if you have never meditated before! You’ll find them here.
- Make summer gardens in winter: Many people mistakenly believe that gardening is not a winter hobby! When in fact this is the best time of year to do some of the essential tasks for our side of the Earth. Your to-do list should include dead-heading, pruning and planting bulbs for new year blooms. There is something incredibly healing about getting your hands in the soil.
- Join a tree-loving community: Self-isolation doesn’t have to be isolating, why not connect with other people about your love of Nature? There are a number of great Facebook groups that encourage you to share in your love of the natural world, including groups focused on gardening, bird spotting and crafting! TreeSisters also has an online community, the Nest, which is free to join and offers a space for sharing ideas, talking about environmental news and creating fundraising activities online. You can sign up here.
The new TreeSisters Reforest our Future campaign highlights the vital role reforestation plays in slowing climate change and preventing further zoonotic disease outbreaks. As part of the campaign, a Reforest our Future discussion panel on 27 October will explore how the health of our planet is the key to human health, more info at: https://treesisters.org/restore-our-future/a-live-panel. The campaign also includes a new animation, The Year it All Changed, which shares TreeSisters’ powerful vision for how we can restore the health of our planet.