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The Great Outdoors

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Rahul Mathasing brings us a piece highlighting the important role nature can play in our lives, especially in current circumstances.

The Great Outdoors”. Hyperbole and taken for granted in one lifetime; relief and sorely missed in another.
It’s clear to see that you really don’t know what you have until it’s gone; isolation has allowed an entirely new appreciation for nature, the outside world, and the environment to blossom (yes, I did).

As with anything there is a spectrum. Some people will be using their allotted time outside to exercise and some will be outside just to get out of the house; others will revel in the ability to see the ever increasing flora underneath the early-summer sun, and actually take time to smell the roses (yes, I did). Either way, most psychology journals, therapies, and woke Instagram accounts will tell you that routine, exercise, and enjoying the outside world can be good for your overall wellbeing. Indeed, aside from managing physical wellbeing to support mental wellbeing, I have definitely found that simply walking or being outside and listening to the sounds, or admiring the colours, massively improves my outlook.

I am one of the lucky ones. My house has a very nice garden, with a variety of wildlife, both plant and animal. The flowers are blooming beautifully, birds (which were once annoying) sound bright, bees are buzzing happily, and it’s as full of life at night as it during the day. Seeing and feeling all of this life is a very nice reminder that even though we all collectively find ourselves pitted against something seemingly from the natural world; the natural world itself isn’t to blame and is a beautiful place that needs to be respected and appreciated. If we love the Earth, then it will love us right back.

Every morning I am able to get up and my mood isn’t too low, I sit outside in the sun and eat breakfast. The good weather in late May/early June is many things: a blessing for those able to enjoy it; a taunt for those aching to share it with friends; and a stark reminder that the planet is on fire. Putting that aside, it’s a fabulous setting in which to sit in my garden and meditate – something I also try to maintain doing as often as I can. Whilst I doubt that I will ever attain enlightenment and reach Nirvana, there is definitely something to be said for feeling more centred and calm, especially when considering a greater appreciation for the world around me.

My long walks are very much the same. I am not a big fan of recreational long-distance running but I do enjoy a good walk, whether that’s a planned 10km route or an unplanned adventure. My next one is going to be Beacon Hill for Sunrise, and then Beacon Hill for Sunset – literally taking a new perspective and working for it.
Finding new places and exploring are something that I have rekindled an appreciation for. We’ve all been 5 years old and too inquisitive for our own good, wandering away from our respective authority figures in pursuit of the exciting and new world all around us. It’s this inner child that has re-emerged and honestly it’s made a big difference to my perspective.

During the period, every moment is to be savoured as it is so short, so I choose to soak it all in. I hope it continues once this unfortunate situation passes, and I hope everyone else realises how precious our planet is; the Earth is a beautiful place that needs more love than it’s currently getting. The fact that much of the natural world has flourished in the absence of our presence is both encouraging and sad. Nature can makes us feel deeply, and maybe it’s time to reciprocate that feeling and give our planet some love.

Thanks for the support Mother Nature, you’re a lifesaver.

Article written by Rahul Mathasing

Header designed by Frankie Stevens

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Label Culture Editor 19-20

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