Are you and your family in need of something to ease your minds and reduce the many stresses this pandemic has thrown on us? Then take a step into nature!

It has been scientifically proven that there is a strong connection between time spent outdoors and the reduction in stress, anxiety and depression. Here at Take2Adventure, we completely agree and are here to provide you with the encouragement to take a step into nature with us.

We are currently experiencing one of the toughest situations this country has faced in many years. Since the coronavirus pandemic struck us, at the beginning of 2020, we have been in and out of lockdowns, forced indoors, barred from activities, sports and hobbies that we heavily rely on for our mental health. Many of us have felt somewhat trapped from the outside world. However, this doesn’t mean that we cannot benefit from the remarkable positive effects of getting outside into green spaces. Last year we experienced a beautiful, warm summer and many of us enjoyed time spent in our gardens at home and local areas, however, as the winter drew in and the air grew colder, we naturally retreated inside. We want to encourage you all to abolish your winter blues, step outside again and cast away any negative mindsets as we welcome the arrival of spring.

Scientists are discovering more and more evidence to support the positive impacts that the outdoors has on our mental health and wellbeing. Nature has a profound impact on our brains and our behaviour, helping to reduce anxiety and stress; increase attention capacity and improve our ability to connect with other people. Studies have shown nature can have huge health benefits such as quickening the health recovery process, reducing blood pressure and also lowering the risk of cancer. Being outside is also proven to improve your mood and boost self-esteem. Just 30 minutes per day, spent outside in green spaces is enough to have a positive impact on your mental health and well being.

There are lots of hassle-free activities to try out during this current lockdown, whether you are on your own or with your family. We have put together a few of our favourite ideas for you below:

Nature Collecting

It is easy to create a simple nature collection by going out and finding natural items around your garden or local area, like twigs, leaves and pebbles. Why not use some of these items to create a miniature ‘woodland home’. Open up the discussion of animal habitat, survival through the winter months and our impact as humans on our surrounding environment. We would love to see your creations and you can tag us in them via Facebook and Instagram!

Growing Plants

Another activity could be to plant, grow and nurture plants, whether you are an expert gardener already or a complete newbie, you and your family can get your hands dirty planting seeds and watching them grow. Involve grandparents or friends, send them a pack of seeds and have a friendly little competition. You may even be able to grow your own fresh fruit and vegetables to enjoy later in the year!

Nature walks

Walks outdoors are also a great way to get your daily exercise whilst also looking out for wildlife. There is plenty to look out for, even during winter. Can you see any bird or squirrels in the trees? Or animal footprints on the ground? And make sure to keep your eyes peeled for snowdrops and daffodils peeking out of the undergrowth!

Wildlife spotting

You could also encourage more wildlife to visit your garden with handmade bird feeders; fresh water for animals to drink or maybe create a small ‘bug hotel’ with sticks, logs and dead leaves. You might even wish to make a wildlife diary, documenting all the visitors you have visit your garden or wild space.

The coming weeks will see the return of our DIY days. These self-led family sessions have exclusive hire of our 5 acre woodland and are the perfect way to enjoy your own piece of nature, clear your mind of the worries and stresses of this pandemic and most of all have fun.

We hope that this has brought some new ideas to you and you are able to see some of the many positive benefits nature has on the mind.

Stay safe and please keep us updated on the things you get up to by tagging us at @take2adventure.

We hope to see you all very soon!

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