Social distancing is a vital measure which will help slow the spread of Coronavirus. But this doesn’t mean that people must be socially isolated. There are many ways that people can feel socially connected and supported.
Being around nature can help reduce negative feelings and make us feel better emotionally. It can also improve physical wellbeing, and has been found to reduce blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension. Studies have shown that even the presence of a plant in the same room as people can have a positive impact on stress and anxiety.
We’ve reached the point of lockdown in which there are still ways we can safely step away from the screen and find connection to nature as a powerful remedy to help relieve stress and anxiety. Through the Everyday Wild Challenge, we have been encouraged to take more notice of nature now Spring has started, to take pictures of wildlife and even grow our own plants.
There have been many highlights over the course of the 11 challenges so far! A few favourites have been the ‘Chasing the Rainbow Challenge.’ An idea that first began in primary schools across the UK to create a rainbow and display it at the front of homes and buildings to show we are all connected. So many lovely pictures have been shared and received. Colmore Junior School said they have been taking part and it was an activity enjoyed by everyone across the school.
The ‘Noticing Birds’, ‘Flowers & Plants’ and grow your own ‘Windowsill Garden’ challenges were also amongst the most popular. We all like to spot natures’ delights, learn more about the wildlife and flowers we see each day, as well as having a go at growing our plants on our windowsills.
Birmingham Trees for Life and Ranger Dean at Bournville Virtual Forest School have also been creating fun and engaging ways to encourage us to get in touch with nature, as well as taking notice of the abundance of wildlife and flowers and plants in our back gardens and local green areas! Birmingham Trees for Life have also been doing their own weekly ‘Wellbeing through the Window’ challenge. To have a go at any of these challenges at any time visit our website.
At The Active Wellbeing Society, we see being Wild as an important part of building a thriving, active community. Wild is about creating spaces for both people and nature to thrive together. It is about overcoming the complex barriers that prevent us from being outdoors in a natural environment, something that has become an everyday occurrence for so many of us. We are encouraged to remember our connection to the places we live and the living things around us.
What next …?
We’re planning our first Forest School livestream activity for all the family this Sunday at 10am. Join in and get in touch with nature!
We’ve been particularly inspired by food growing and plant sharing activities happening around the city in response to the crisis. We’re exploring ways to encourage and inspire more of that wild behaviour, so watch this space!
Finally, if you have a positive or uplifting story, or want to share what your community is doing, we’d love to hear from you! We want to shed light and celebrate those who are working together, helping the community and looking after each other. You can share your story by posting directly to the Brum Together Facebook page, through the form here, or by using the hashtag #BrumTogether in your public social media posts.