Monday, 14 May 2018

Connect to Nature for Mental Health

Many of our holidays, weekends, lunch breaks and even the odd meeting are spent in nature. I'd suggest, because unconsciously we know it brings us back into balance, and provides peace of mind.

For Mental Health Awareness Week I'd therefore like to invite you to consider what landscape gives you peace of mind? 

For me it's this beach - a beach I moved home to be near, and a beach that has certainly kept me saner over the 14 years I've lived here. 

A beach with a view of Edinburgh across the Firth of Forth that I fell in love with.

A beach I can see from my bedroom and office windows:

A beach that is less than 5 minutes walk away from those very windows:

The beach - with its many seasons - busy in the summer and deserted except for the hardy dog walkers in the winter.

A beach I've regularly eaten breakfast, dinner and tea on:

A beach I've exercised on:

A beach I've declared my love for my profession on:

A beach that has inspired many a Landscaping Your Life video blog (you may want to turn your sound down first):

And many a blog too (this on standing in other people's shoes):

A beach I've gone to when I've had my head in the sand - mostly metaphorically it has to be said!

A beach to help me turn a corner:

A beach I've paddled all year round on:
And now a beach to swim from!

Last year, I realised the sea really wasn't all that cold (only 5 in winter and up to a toasty 15 in the summer), and have now added the benefit of cold water swimming to my mental health prescription.

This was taken for sunrise at 0730 in November when Frost was on the ground and water was still at a warmish 8/9 degrees. 

Another 0730 swim much more recently when the water was still 5/6 degrees and air temperature about the same.

A beach that keeps my mind, body and soul in health, and is somewhere I go to when struggling to mind the mental and physical balance I need to get up every day and do what I need to do.

Thank you mother nature for giving me this beach, and allowing me to connect daily to your nurturing presence through it's beauty - whatever the season and what ever the weather.

Where is your place in nature that brings you peace of mind? When will you commit to going there next? 

Alison Smith
Landscaping your Life
Using nature as a metaphor to find balance in your life

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