Life in Lockdown: How Nature/Winter Activities Can Help
Life in 2021 might not be starting out how any of us planned. While this is understandably a difficult time, we hope that this transition away from routine life can offer a window of opportunity into viewing things in a different light once again. Slowing down can be wonderfully beneficial to our health, if we can allow ourselves the time, or if that’s not possible, then focusing our minds on one thing can also be good for us. In order to ease the stress and anxieties surrounding so many of us right now, here are a few gentle tips for how to make the most out of lockdown life by surrounding yourself with nature or winter time activities.
As winter is ebbing and spring is beginning to show up, there are plenty of opportunities to go out for walks and admire nature. While many trees, plants and shrubbery might be stripped bare of their leaves for winter, we have been lucky enough to spot a fair few flowers out there in the natural world on our walks through fields, riverside paths, and woodland floors. It might be a little too early for strolling through patches of bluebells, but we have already seen several daffodils, snowdrops and winter violas out and about. To take a little bit of nature home with you, you could start pressing wild flowers which is a great way of getting to know plants, their names and preserving them long after seasons have passed.
You could even get ready for spring by planting your own seeds. Among others, tulips, hyacinths, bluebells, and crocus are good to plant in winter in time for them to bloom come spring.
Exercise wherever you can
Walks, strolls, jogs – or even exercise videos – can be a great way to keep the mind occupied and the body moving. If you find yourself struggling, try and be outdoors as much as possible (within reason) to alleviate stress. Even sitting in the garden, if you have one, can be a great way to free up your mind and take time to notice your surroundings. You don’t have to pull up a chair and sit there for hours – even sipping a hot tea or coffee standing outside your door can be a big boost for many people.
We know winter can be dark and dreary but try not to let that stop you from exercising and interacting with nature, however small. Breathe deep out in the open air. Observe the world around you. Notice the things you might not always get the chance to in your day to day life and really let yourself live in the moment. Explore places in your local area you’ve neglected so far in favour of going further afield. You might be surprised at what you might find. (But do, of course, be sensible). As Billy Connolly once said, ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes’ which we couldn’t agree with more.
Cross stitching, crocheting, knitting, or crafting
Always fancied yourself to be a crafter but never allowed yourself the time, or chance? There are plenty of resources out there to really get stuck in, from books, magazines and knitting patterns to digital tutorials on websites like Youtube. What’s more, it’s a wonderful way to reduce your negative impact on the environment by creating things out of items you would’ve, perhaps in another instance, thrown away. When you think about it, almost anything can be turned into something else. It’s all about the right mindset. Doing things like this can really help inspire creativity and nurture the more creative side of our brains. When times like these call for new ways of thinking, creativity and crafting hobbies can be wonderful ways to escape the uncertainties going on around us. So why not get stuck in?
Psst.. we recommend Conscious Creativity:The Workbook by Philippa Stanton if crafting isn't so much your thing, but you still want to find new ways to develop your creativity.
At risk of repeating ourselves, on dry days, why not take to the garden? There’s really nothing like fresh air. If you don’t have a garden, why not bring the outdoors in and sow your own seeds on your kitchen windowsill? At Lost in Books, we are a big lover of plants; they bring so much positive energy. If you wanted, you could get even more creative and paint your own plant pots or, if you have children, why not let them take part in this activity too? You could create your own makeshift pond and watch nature thrive as it attracts new wildlife, or maybe you could take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, happening at the end of the month.
We’re definitely planning on taking part!
Books on wellbeing and nature ...
This blog really wouldn’t be complete without including something about reading. We have a beautiful selection of curated books available about nature and the joys of the natural world. From The Almanac Journal by Lia Leendertz and The Wild Silence by Raynor Winn, to Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty or Bird Therapy by Joe Harkness, we believe there’s always something new to learn about when it comes to the world around us. Books like these offer a special insight into the ways and lives of creatures, plants and elements of the earth that sometimes get overlooked. They can also tell of the human spirit, too, and how it interacts with nature.
We love being able to share these absorbing and delightful reads with others and are often passionate about sharing in the wonders of this side of life. As lovers and inhabitants of Cornwall, it’s hard not to appreciate the beauty and complex nature of the world around us. We hope that, whatever you end up reading, you get to feel some sort of calm and balance from words on a page too.
You can see more of our books on nature and the natural world in our Non-Fiction section here.
There are countless other ways to keep busy and ease lockdown blues. We just wish we could list them all. Whether it's discovering new hobbies or going back to the ones you've lost over time, we hope life is treating you well.
If you've found ways to cope in lockdown, please share them with us in the comments section below. We love to keep in touch with our readers.
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