It was raining this morning, but I went out first thing anyway. In the woods it was just me, the dog-walkers, my pen and a notebook. Despite the rain, I felt my spirits lift a little:
walking through the wet wood
I notice how water runs slowly,
mushrooms blossom sideways,
my heart lifts lightly
and anything is possible
under cover of the rain
After a long, hot Summer it can be hard to get motivated to go outside as the colder weather sets in, but spending time outdoors is good for you, whatever the weather. Often the first benefit to spring to mind is exercise and there definitely are positive physical health outcomes from getting out into the world and getting moving. But there are mental health benefits too. A gentle, mindful walk might be all we need to clear our heads and get some perspective.
There is plenty of evidence that contact with nature and the outdoors improves our mental wellbeing. (If you’re interested, there’s a report by Natural England here into the benefits of nature based interventions for mental health). Best of all its free! So why not take a walk in the woods today, even if it’s raining just pop your raincoat on and head outside for half an hour of relaxation and self-care. You might be surprised how good it makes you feel. If, like me, you find writing helpful, take a pen and a notebook with you and see where the sights, smells and feeling of the wild might take you.