Get back in touch with nature during lockdown

Sheila Kronfeld

The whole world has been turned on its head and it's easy to get stuck in a cycle of self-pity—but look up, look out. There's a beautiful serenity in nature, and your gratitude for it will ease some mental discomfort

For many of us, (apart from the glaringly obvious anxiety and worry caused by the lockdown) one of the biggest challenges has been how to try to continue with work, while homeschooling and managing the craving we have for friends and family that we’re currently unable to see.

For some this has been a welcome gift of family togetherness, learning numerous new skills and doing all those jobs around the home and garden that you never thought you’d find the time to achieve—but for so many more, it has been an extremely trying challenge. Trying to work out how to teach children, when you have no idea whatsoever what they’re meant to be doing, or how they’re meant to be doing it, thus highlighting the fact that you have forgotten pretty much everything you learnt at school yourself, and illuminates and confirms the suspicion that your children have of you that you are actually clueless... all while trying to stick to deadlines and have online video conferences and meetings and praying that the dog stops howling and the children try to keep their fisty-cuffs and scuffles at a low volume.  

For those that are keeping sane, well done. For those that have discovered new skills/written a book/remodelled your homes/discovered that you are a gifted cellist, we salute you. But, for the majority of us mere mortals, who need some quiet relief, there's one simple thing that can help a little to lighten the stress. Nature.

"Marvel at how beautiful the Spring blossom has been and what a beautiful country we live in"

With exercise now being raised from once daily to unlimited times a day, getting out there is something that we strongly encourage. It is easy to fall into a slump and feed the lack the motivation to get outside and move around, but you'll be astounded at the calming effect it has, especially for those having trouble sleeping.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re out on your bike, walking or running, as you travel around your local area take the time to notice what’s actually around you. Marvel at how beautiful the Spring blossom has been and what a beautiful country we live in.

We have been so fortunate to have had the majority of the lockdown in glorious weather—very unlike the UK, but if there was ever a time not to look a gift horse in the mouth, it is now. Everything has been so strange and surreal yet the unusual treat of the UK sunshine is something most us have had the opportunity to appreciate instead of our usual routine—missing all the sun because you're sat in the office.

No matter where you live in the country—a town, city or countryside, nature has been doing it’s best to thank us for the drop in our CO2 emissions and it’s as though this pause in our fast life has been rewarded by the most incredible sights that Mother Nature has to offer.

We have witnessed the delights of new life with all the traditional Easter arrivals—lambs, ducks and little chicks which melt our hearts and softened our outlook. The flowers that have bloomed have been a feast for the eyes and the soul. The beauty is in stark contrast to so many who have had their lives taken, and families that are scared out of their wits, or those dealing with financial difficulties, all as a consequence of this virus—it is a small compensation, but a compensation nonetheless.

Drink in the stunning blues and purples that have erected—the lilac, wisteria, forget-me-nots and bluebells that all seem to have bloomed in a more striking way than ever before.

Is it because we are noticing more, because we have slowed down and are not rushing to race in our cars to work, or jump on the tube or a cab, or is it because the earth is showing it’s gratitude for some reprieve in a break in pollution?

We have also had some incredible sunsets—which for so many of us, is a first—we are not stuck underground or focussed on tackling road rage or in the frantic after school-club pick up/drop off or frenzied feeding of our children to ensure they’re getting their five-a-day and in bed in time to get a quality nights sleep before school the next school day. We are able to take our exercise and notice that the UK at this time of year is pretty spectacular.

We know that this is a horrible time. We cannot deny that it is, but what we can count on and encourage ourselves to embrace is that the small things that give us stability, and cost nothing, are there for all to savour. The beauty in nature, that is all around us, is the centrepiece that we can all rely now and, hopefully, will continue our love affair with long after this perilous time is behind us.  

For more family, home and lifestyle pictures and inspiration follow Sheila Kronfeld's Instagram @shebkron

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