Restoration Yard Blog

3 ways to connect with nature

Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event giving us all an opportunity to focus on achieving good mental health. Most of us aren't really sure where to start when it comes to improving our mental health. We asked Restoration Yard's Wellbeing Consultant - Jen Wood - to help us out. Where to start? What to do? Who to talk to? Jen's three top tips will get you heading in the right direction towards improving your mental health. The Mental Health Foundation offer a wide range of content designed to give you more information about mental health and to help you to look after your mental health.

Meet Jen Wood

As a psychotherapist and coach, I am very aware of the increase in these mental health problems.  There are many causes, but I believe that one of the remedies is in pressing the pause button and spending more time outdoors, grounding ourselves, exercising, breathing fresh air and ‘getting out of our heads’ and away from our devices for a while. Research has shown that the quality of the natural environment is important for our wellbeing. Beautiful and diverse outdoor spaces have a powerful impact on our mental health and happiness.

Mindfulness Techniques

If we can feel connected with nature, rather than just getting lost in our thinking, we feel better. Mindfulness techniques such as hearing birdsong and the rustling of the leaves and the running water of the River Esk can calm our spirit. We know that connection with nature is associated with more happiness and better mental health, and that people who spend more time outdoors in nature tend to experience more meaning in their lives.

Ways to Connect With Others

We are so lucky that the stunningly beautiful Dalkeith Country Park has lots of easily accessible opportunities to connect with nature and the outdoors with the many waymarked walking trails. We can also spend meaningful time  with others as well as connecting with our authentic selves. Restoration Yard's Outdoor Fitness Class and Buggy Fitness Class are open to all and are a great way to meet likeminded people. Dalkeith Country Park's waymarked trails provide plenty of opportunities for you and your four legged friend to head out on adventures together. The Old Wood is a journey through time and the confluence of the North and South Esk rivers is a favourite of mine, and my dogs.

Leave Your Shoes Indoors

Just keeping it really simple, taking off shoes and socks and feeling the ground beneath our feet helps when we’re feeling overwhelmed. Or feeling the connection between our breath and the breeze.

Check out our full wellbeing programme to find the perfect class for you on your mental health journey. Want to hear all the news from Restoration Yard first? Sign up to our newsletters. You can also follow us over on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.