By WildCall Officer Charlotte Owen
With the world in lockdown, the uplifting role that wildlife plays in our lives has become more vital than ever. We all need nature, and not just for the fundamentals like food, air and water that are essential to our very existence. Nature also has the power to make us feel happy and boost our health and wellbeing, just by being there.
We gain the greatest benefit from being outside and immersing ourselves in the natural world. Taking in the sights, sounds and scents of the wild can reduce blood pressure, lower stress, improve concentration and make us feel good. But even if we can’t get outside, a simple view from a window can work wonders. The sight of trees and greenery can significantly improve the recovery times of hospital patients, and doctors are starting to prescribe a daily dose of nature to help with all kinds of conditions.
Southerham © Nigel Symington
Health is at the forefront of everyone’s mind given the situation we’re facing, and while the main focus has been on the physical it’s essential that we look after our mental health too. Today marks the mid-point of Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is kindness. It’s reassuring to see the countless stories of kindness in our communities over the past few months, and even the smallest act of kindness can have an enormous impact. Research has shown that kindness is an antidote to isolation and creates a sense of belonging. It can reduce stress, freshen perspectives and deepen friendships. Kindness can even make us feel confident and optimistic during the darkest of times. It’s powerful stuff.
Making a bird feeder at Nature Tots in 2019 © Miles Davies
So, just imagine what could happen if we mixed these two potent ingredients together by being kind to wildlife. There’s huge potential for the ultimate boost to our mood, while making a big difference for the wildlife on the doorstep – even if it’s the smallest kindness. Whether you’re feeding the birds, planting flowers for bees, mowing the grass less often or just trying not to step on the ants in the pavement, try being kind to wildlife and it might just brighten your day.