We were both lucky enough to have access to the great outdoors growing up, complete with rolling hills and leafy woodland. Christian’s childhood was spent here in the Surrey Hills, in a sleepy village at the foot of Leith Hill, whilst Beckie’s younger years and outdoor adventures were in northern Italy, in the woodlands around Lake Maggiore. It’s why we feel most at home in our boots enjoying the simple sounds of a crackling fire or leaves rustling underfoot.
Over the years, our society has provided a plethora of ever-changing digital distractions, causing so many of us to become increasingly disconnected from nature. Our world is shaped by eight hour working days, and it is now widely acknowledged that this disconnect can have a negative impact on our well-being.
In this fast-paced technological world it’s all too easy to become glued to our screens. As a result, our attention span gets shorter. After a busy day at work, there is an almost irresistible temptation to flop onto the sofa and switch on Netflix. That may sound relaxing, but is it really the best recipe for good mental health? How do we get the balance right?
Most of us instinctively know that nature is good for us, and the science is gradually getting to grips with how this works. Switching screens for trees could be the answer, as recent studies continuously show that spending time in nature has a hugely positive affect on physical and mental health. In today’s mental health epidemic, we know we need to find ways to regularly connect with nature, to use the lichen, leaves, flowers and fungi as a tonic for our weary body and mind.