Spending more time at home without opportunities to visit family, friends or other places has impacted on people in many ways. For some, it is frustrating and can lead to feeling isolated, anxious, and lonely. For others there have been unexpected benefits.
Some people have found their attention being drawn to their own home environments, particularly their outside spaces. These have become places to revisit, to explore again, to re-connect with and see things afresh. People are enjoying the benefits of the outdoors, whether that’s breathing in fresh air, absorbing much needed vitamin D, listening to the sounds of nature, or just taking in the view.
It is not too long before this state of simply ‘being’ in nature creates a heightened awareness as details such as the vibrant colour of a flower’s petals or the antics of the birds swooping in and out of the hedges draws attention and enhances the impact on our senses.
Bill lives with dementia, among other health issues and has written about his own recent experience of ‘being’ in nature:
“Being free from appointments and very limited in what I can do following my illness, leaving me very weak and not very mobile, for the first time I have spent a long time in the garden sitting at a table reading my newspaper and then just staying on to enjoy the fresh air. This has meant a deeper interest in the flowers growing and the garden itself. When I did gardening myself, I tended to buy plants, plant them, look at the garden as a whole and hoped it looked pretty. However, I have found a new interest in looking at individual flowers. Whether a garden is small like ours or large, it is amazing how much pleasure it can bring when you have the time to actually enjoy it” (Bill C).
For Bill, nature is helping at a time of recuperation; raising his level of well-being through his pleasure at studying the flowers in his garden more closely. It is something we can all do when feeling unwell or frustrated or simply tired so, it’s time to open the door or window, go for a stroll around the garden or sit by the window and gaze out. It’s time for some time out.