There is finally some sensible advice coming out about how to look after our mental health during the Corona Virus Pandemic, read more here.
As well as the excellent advice on this link, from our own project we can certainly advocate nature as a wonderful antidote to the stresses of the world. Here are a few suggestions - please do contact us with your own and we will add to the list.
Turning to Nature can focus and calm our minds -
1. Open your window and listen to the birds - you will notice their songs much more in the morning, but throughout the day you can hear different bird song and calls - in spring the birds are getting busy - now might be the time to start to learn one or two bird class - check out the rspb site for more information on identifying bird songs Notice the difference in bird song in the early morning, and late afternoon, how does it differ to each other and to the bird calls at midday?
2. Sit in your garden or by an open window and take a minute or two to simply follow the sounds, if it helps you can write a list of everything you can hear - you can repeat this on other days or at other times and see how it changes. How does it make you feel when you simply listen like this? Which sounds affect you in which ways?
3. What nature can you see from your window? You can spend time simply observing, watching and noticing any forms of nature. The trees - how they look without their leaves, the birds flying around - are they nesting, what are they carrying? What are they up to? The clouds - gathering, forming, dispersing and clearing, the shapes and patterns that they make.
4. Do you have any house plants, this could be the time to pot them up, give them a dust, give them some attention, look closely what stage are they at, how do they grow, what can you learn from them? Do you have a pencil and paper tor even a tablet to hand, how about trying to draw them? As this project has shown over and over drawing nature is a wonderful way to focus and calm the mind. We don't draw to create a pretty picture, we draw to look closely, to spend some time with the plant or nature phenomena and the marks that we make are the record of that time passed. That's it, we don't have to create an amazing work of art, it is just a map of our time spent.
5. Plant seeds now! See our blog post - this is the perfect time to plant seeds on your windowsill that you can plant out later when it warms up or even grow some windowsill herbs or microgreens.
6. Take your camera into your garden or local park - with the changing light and bulbs emerging from the earth while the old seed heads are still around March is a fabulous time to get out into the garden with your camera - here is an image I took in my garden of the Honesty that is now silvery seed heads in their full glory: