Identifying Where Nature Can Improve Your Mental Health #30DaysWild

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Well, the best laid plans, and all that! I’d intended to post every day for 30 days, sharing our #30dayswild journey, but yeah, life happens, doesn’t it. Never mind, new goal: post when  I can! So far so good!

Last year the girls and I spent some time on Feelings And Emotions, learning about different emotions, what they feel like, how they make us act and so on. It was a very good series of activities, and they still refer back to it.  I decided for one of last week’s #30dayswild activities to go back to one of those activities, a printout of leading questions I designed to make the girls identify how being in specific places makes them feel. (Find that activity and printout here.)Nature Can Improve Mental Health

As they change and grow, I think it’s useful to revisit some activities because it shows them and me how much they have developed on the inside too.

The questions on this sheet of paper are leading questions, about how we feel in different places:

“On the beach, with the waves at my feet, my toes in the sand, I feel…. ”

“In the forest, with the trees overhead, and the birds chirping, I feel…”

and then there are questions about a shopping centre and their own bedroom.

(Words on the actual page vary a bit, but you get the idea.

Using these questions on the printed sheet gave us the opportunity for some quiet reflection. In the forest, for example, we closed our eyes, described what we could feel on our skins, smell in the air, taste on the air, hear… and the same on the beach.

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I was pleased to find that Ameli’s questions have grown from ‘makes me want ice cream’ to something along the lines of “On the beach I feel refreshed and happy. Its a good place to come when I’m feeling blue”. Similarly, her response to the forest was “In the forest I feel at home.”

I think it’s really valuable to be able to identify how specific places feel, so that they can use their environment to help manage their emotions.

I know I’m feeling really irritable and ‘scratchy’ at the moment, so we’ve decided to camp at a local campsite this week. I know that waking under canvas for a few days will improve the way I feel. I hope that my children can identify where nature contributes to their general mental health too.

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4 thoughts on “Identifying Where Nature Can Improve Your Mental Health #30DaysWild

  1. We are going 30 days wild too 🙂 I try and get my two out as often as possible, all weathers, because it definitely benefits us all to be outdoors!
    Catherine’s last blog post ..Day 12: Wild numbers

    • You are definitely right! It’s amazing how much it can change the ‘feel’ of the house!

  2. This is really interesting and lovely that it is making a difference to their mental health. Getting outside does give you that boost x

    • Thank you! I worried ‘mental health’ might be too heavy a concept, and perhaps just ‘mood’ would be better, but the one certainly feeds into the other!

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