Long-term readers may remember that last year I participated in 30 Days Wild, an event organised by The Wildlife Trust to encourage people to get more involved in nature, be it to start a project for the good of the wild or to simply become more personally aware of it. I've always had a passion for the wild, inherited no doubt from my father, so I really enjoyed it - and so when it was announced again for 2016, I decided to get involved once again, and I urge you all to join me.
It has been proven that the outdoors has a positive effect on your mental and emotional wellbeing. From simply offering a change of scenery and some fresh air all the way to encouraging physical activity, it can work wonders for anyone, and as someone who gets in her own head an awful lot, I've learned that I personally can benefit from it a lot.
Take your lunch break outside, go for a morning run rather than hitting the gym, or relocate your body weight workout to the park. Leave earlier and take the scenic route to school or work, sit by the window when it's raining, watch the birds or other garden visitors. It doesn't need to be a time-consuming commitment, just make time for the world outside of your own.
I have crafts, arts and studies lined up to turn my focus back onto the world I so often ignore, and any chance I get I'm going to take my work outside rather than keep couped up indoors like I foolishly choose to be every single day. By the end of June last year I was so much happier than when I'd started; I was more peaceful, more thoughtful - more bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and generally more motivated in my every day tasks. I'm hoping I can get the same results this time, and that it will last longer into the year.
I've started simply, but with intention. Rather than write this post at my desk or on my laptop in bed, I took it outside. The sun, I admit, is a little blinding, but the warmth is more comfortable with a breeze wrapping around me than it is in the conservatory where the heat is amplified. There's the sound of birdsong from the trees on the other side of the fence and the dense bushes the grow against them, and though I hear it so often that I've learned to filter it out, just the fact that glass isn't standing between me and it has suddenly made it not so much clearer, but prettier. Though I admit that I'm looking for it.
I might sound a little cloud-brained about it all, but to be honest, it's a nice change, and I've just found myself smiling while writing about it all rather than harbouring my usual grim expression. I'd say that's a fantastic and quite mindful first step, and the perfect way to ease myself into the month.