Coronavirus - trees

As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe at a rapid rate, concern is rightly focused on our physical health. But what about the impact of such an event on our mental health? A saturation of fear-inducing media coverage coupled with the isolation of social distancing is a ripe environment for acute psychological stress and anxiety to grow.

As well as washing our hands and avoiding close physical contact with others to stop the spread, what can we do to protect our mental health? The benefits of getting outdoors and being in nature for mental wellbeing are proven and perhaps more important than ever.

We still need to keep our distance from others, but there are plenty of things we can do outside without being in close proximity to other people. A quiet walk through the bush. Sitting by a river. Gazing at an ancient tree. Feeling the sand between our toes on a secluded beach. Even being outside in our own backyards, earthing ourselves by walking barefoot on the grass. Being outside measurably lowers our stress levels within minutes which also – crucially at this time – increases our immune function.

For those living in urban areas, often in high rise apartments, proximity to nature is not always easy. So, now more than ever, our urban landscapes are so important. Inner-city parks, tree-lined streets and green walls can all be a source of comfort, calm and reassurance that Mother Nature will prevail and we too will endure.