Mindfulness and Nature

As the pandemic continues to loom over our day-to-day existence we see ourselves adjusting to its challenges and perhaps even settling into this new tempo of life. In the course of a few months it has changed the way we interact with one another, the course of our daily routines, the nature of our conversations, the pace at which society moves, the flow of our economy, and spotlighted the huge discrepancies in our social systems. In all this, as much good as ill may yet emerge from the crisis thanks to our ability as humans to adapt to changing circumstances and learn from the experience.

At the Bristol Wellbeing College and at Second Step as a whole, we have witnessed this adaptability where members of our organisation, be they staff, volunteers or service users step forward to offer their skills and support. The sharing of our knowledge, experience and ideas is key if we are to take challenging circumstances as a time to flourish; the more we exchange these, the stronger we will emerge from the other side. This is something applicable to our individual mental health as well as our society.

In the coming blog posts, we present ideas and tips shared by our volunteers based on their experience of the lockdown period and which we hope will offer inspiration, motivation and a sense of solidarity as we move forward through the pandemic. 

Mindfulness & Nature by Chelsea

Hi, I am Chelsea a new volunteer to Second step, I hope to be a peer mentor, and I am currently studying Psychology. This blog will give you some ideas on how to practise mindfulness at home during this difficult time. Mindfulness is a way you can focus your thinking on positive thought in the here and now. During this time, nature is thriving outside, the spring weather is enabling blossom to flourish on the trees and flowers to bloom. Connecting to nature may help you improve your mood. Here are some photos and videos I have taken during daily exercise.

Activity 1- What can you notice in these pictures? Please focus on one picture and take 10 minutes to look closely and think to yourself what colours can you see? What is central to this image? What is surrounding the central element? Can you see any shapes? Can you see any textures or movements? This activity may help you build your awareness.

Activity 2- This is a place that relaxes me, take 5 minutes or longer to close your eyes and imagine yourself now in a place that relaxes you. Otherwise, imagine you are at the place in the video presently listen to the sound of the waves.

Activity 3- If you are able to try to take some photos yourself of your outside environment during your daily exercise and consider being mindful about what you can see in these photos. If you do not have access to this, another positive activity could be drawing, here are some more photos I have taken that may inspire you.  

This is a drawing I have done. This activity helped me to feel distracted from worries and kept me busy.

Thank you for reading this blog. I hope that you may give the activities a go and enjoy them. 

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