This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Nature Conservancy. All opinions are 100% mine.
Why spending time in nature is the antidote to a hectic lifestyle
I don’t need to look at a watch or my diary to know when it’s been too long since I set foot in a natural space. I just have to take a look in the mirror, literally and metaphorically – the person I see is slightly tense, possibly a little stressed, possibly grumpy or snappy, and does not look or feel like her best self.
Often, when I experience this, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to run very often, and I’ve spent a lot of time in towns or cities, working and traveling. So while I crave being out in nature and running or hiking a trail, I’m a little hesitant to get back out there, because I know the first run back after a break is often harder than I would hope.
Then I actually go outside. I feel dirt under my shoes, breathe fresh forest, mountain or ocean air, and take myself to a place where all I can see, smell, feel and hear, is NATURAL. If possible, I’ll go somewhere where there are no other people (except for Alastair of course), I’m far from a main road, and there’s more chance I’ll encounter more creatures. It doesn’t matter where in the world I am, but if I can get into nature and experience some, if not all of the above, then I feel the stress, tension and less-than-great mood just float away.
Then I actually go outside. I feel dirt under my shoes, breathe fresh forest, mountain, ocean or country air, and take myself to a place where all I can see, smell, feel and hear, is NATURAL.
Nature’s link to wellbeing
The longer I am out moving amongst the trees, breathing in the fresh air, drinking from (or dipping my toes in) clean mountain streams, the better I feel. I don’t have to be running, I could be walking, swimming, or just finding a quiet place to sit and be still – the effect is the same, a state of mindfulness is found.
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If I spend hours out in nature, just being in the moment, thinking about what I’m doing and where I am, then it’s almost impossible to take away that feel-good feeling for at least the rest of the day – sometimes the rest of the week. That’s why we love the challenge of a tough long run, and why ultrarunning is seen by so many as an escape from today’s hectic lifestyles. 5+ hours of mindfulness in nature just has that effect.
It’s time to give back
Our natural world is something that every one of us has in common. We share this world and all of its joy, beauty and wonder. We also share the challenges of a changing climate and a troubling outlook if we don’t make serious changes.
We are delighted to be able to help spread the word about The Nature Conservancy’s mission and how we can all take action to help protect the natural world that our lives, livelihood (and wellbeing) depend so greatly upon. If you donate today you’ll be helping The Nature Conservancy stand up for nature and our planet.
What does The Nature Conservancy do?
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a conservation charity that works to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends. This is obviously a huge remit and challenge, so they prioritize their work by focusing projects on the priorities that science shows are most urgent:
As someone who spent the best part of her youth wanting to be a marine conservationist and has a profound love of animals, I truly believe that the conservation of our planet (and therefore habitats, livelihoods and our long term sustainability) is the number one cause to support. I love that TNC’s projects are making a very tangible difference around the world.
With the support of individual donors, The Nature Conservancy works tirelessly to defend natural resources, protect endangered species, keep our drinking water clean and preserve nature.
Those who donate today also receive a 1 year of Nature Conservancy Magazine free but the best benefit of all is knowing your gift is making a difference to protect the natural world that gives us so much.