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Feeling blue? Take a walk out in natural green spaces this new year

By David Lynch,

After the festivities comes January and what feels like an interminable stretch of short cold days. I don’t expect walking outdoors would be high on your agenda either.

Well, not until you hear about the power of a reflective walk in nature amidst the green winter foliage and the blue waters of the pond.

David Lynch. Picture: Keith Heppell
David Lynch. Picture: Keith Heppell

There’s building evidence that just by perceiving green and blue in a natural environment, combined with gentle strolling, silent contemplation of shapes, sounds and textures, our nervous system starts to relax and we can experience a soothing wave of unexpected, yet much-needed, wellness in the doldrums of mid-winter.

Don’t take my word for it, come and join a select small group of mindful walkers to gather monthly at Wandlebury Country Park on a Friday afternoon at 2pm to announce the weekend.

I, the resident mindful green coach, will be guiding the walk from the coffee van along the quieter paths, through chirruping coppices, denuded orchards and magical dells, along with simple guidance in mindful meditation and an invitation to release the week’s tension with a few extra inhalations of freshly-oxygenated air.

The theme of each walk will be informed by the weather, the season and the unexpected, as we venture away from the familiarity of routines in favour of a curious and investigative approach to what we come upon as we walk.

We might pause at the bird hide to admire the delicate yet resilient feathers of a wren, or we might stop to listen to the rustling of leaves suddenly whipped up by a gust of wind, our eyes closed, allowing

the shoulders to relax as a wave of mid-week tension seeps from our weary bones. What is certain is that we will find time to still the mind, to notice fleeting moments of beauty, reminding ourselves of what’s really important to us.

We’ll certainly warm up our hands at the end with a hot drink and meet other like-minded walkers who have dared to treat themselves to some peaceful me-time before the start of weekend schedules.

Mindfulness practice is named as one of the five-a-day rituals that help us to build mental resilience, along with exercise, quality sleep, a balanced diet and meaningful communication.

I am a gardener and mindfulness meditation teacher, with a professional background in training and development. My speciality is mindfulness-in-nature, leading groups outdoors to learn another way of dealing with life’s stresses.

My first walk at Wandlebury will be on Friday, January 19. To book a space in this intimate group, email me at naturallymindfulnow@gmail.com. The cost is £12.

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