daffodil in focus beside other daffodils

Reconnect with Nature this Spring

Find solutions in nature that have a positive impact on your physical and mental health and wellbeing

Nurture nature, nurture you.

With lighter nights and warmer weather, Spring brings many opportunities to reconnect with nature, opening up the positive health benefits that this connection brings.

Contact with nature can have a positive effect on physical and mental health. In fact, just 10 minutes outdoors can:

  • Reduce stress levels
  • Boost immunity
  • Enhance focus

Sometimes we might find it difficult to make time for ourselves when we feel under pressure and stressed. The Five Ways to Wellbeing framework helps you think about simple everyday nature-based activities that you could incorporate into your routine for better physical, emotional and psychological health.

The Five Ways to Wellbeing Framework
The Five Ways to Wellbeing Framework

How can I incorporate the Five Ways to Wellbeing into my routine?

The Five Ways to Wellbeing is a flexible framework that you can adapt to suit you – but here are some ideas to get you started:

Take time to notice the natural world as the seasons change and unfold. Head outdoors and engage your senses; listen to the sounds around you, watch the wildlife, smell the flowers, or touch the bark of a tree.

Try and clear some time in your day to go for a walk in the fresh air. Even if you’re on your feet all day, you’ll feel the benefit of being outside in the natural environment. Maybe you work from home? Why not plan in some time outdoors to ‘commute’, with a short walk before and after work. Are there places around to explore and get your heart rate up?

Connect with the nature that is around you, think about how the change in the seasons makes you feel. Share your daily walks with a friend or colleague, talk about the natural world that surrounds you, or reminisce about happy memories of time spent in nature.

Give something back to the environment. Feed the birds, plant some seeds, grow your own herbs or look after a habitat that is vital to all sorts of wildlife. Think about your impact on the environment, and what you could do to reduce that; fill a reusable cup instead of buying a bottle of water, have last night’s leftovers for lunch to reduce food waste. If you nurture nature, it will nurture you too.

Learning can take many different forms, from discovering nature-based skills to finding out what wildlife is in your area. Maybe it’s about learning more about yourself and reflecting on how incorporating some of the other steps into your routine has made you feel. What did you enjoy most? What things do you want to try and do more of?

In partnership with:

Find out more about the Green Health activities that are taking place on sites across NHS Lothian and how you can get involved

Astley Ainslie Hospital, NHS Lothian

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Introduce the Five Ways to Wellbeing to you teams

If you work for NHS Lothian and would like our Green Health team to come along to one of your meetings to talk about the Five Ways to Wellbeing, or other ways you can incorporate Green Health activities into the healthcare journey, then get in touch.