The green solution to winter blues

(c) Katrina Martin/2020VISION

Did you know that January and February are said to be some of the most difficult and depressing months of the year? With spring seeming so far out of reach, we asked our Myplace team to share with us some of their top tips for enjoying the rest of winter.

Many of us struggle with the shorter days and cold weather.

Spring is on it's way (we promise) and whilst that's very exciting, it's still important to try and make the most of every season instead of wishing winter away.

Did you know that spending time outdoors has been proven to help people feel happier?

The Wildlife Trusts recently published a report conducted with the University of Essex examining the effects of volunteering in nature on people's mental health and the results were incredible.

Read the summary

Graham Clarkson, Men in Sheds Project Officer says...

The cold weather might put you off but make sure you're still getting outside, even if it's just for a short walk.

Look out and listen for birds in your garden or local green space, some great ones to hear and see this time of year include; blue tits, house sparrows, blackbirds, collared doves and robins.

Have a listen to blackbird song below:

Blackbird (c) Alan Wright

(c) Alan Wright

Get creative

See if you can challenge yourself to build and erect a bird nesting box or bug hotel ready to be occupied in spring.

How to build a bug mansion How to build a nest box

Men in Sheds

Charlotte Yates, Myplace Project Officer says...

Try and set some dates for spending time with friends and family, in the same way you do over Christmas. 

We are all great at arranging times to see each other around Christmas time, but then don't bother during the most depressing times of the year (Jan and Feb), but why?  We probably need contact with people then more than ever.

Make the most of any nice days even if it is cold.  It's not always miserable weather, the sun does shine - just wrap up extra warm.  Try a bit of power walking too, you'll soon feel warm in no time. 

Finally, don't feel disappointed if you break new years resolutions. Instead, make a few points on how you can be/do/live better and try to follow that. 

Claire Critchley, Myplace Project Officer says...

Even if the weather isn't inviting, you can still enjoy watching wildlife.

One really simple way to make a bird feeder is to press seeds into apples or oranges  - this is a really relaxing activity which can be done inside in the comfort and warmth of your home. 

birds on feeder (c) Peter Smith

(c) Peter Smith

Emma Bartlet, Myplace Project Officer says...

Why not make a new year's resolution to focus on your wellbeing?

Try to set time aside each week for yourself. You could go for a walk, read a book, stop for a while and listen to the sounds of nature - anything that gives you back some valuable me time.

How can Myplace help you?

Myplace is our ecotherapy project in partnership with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust. Our project works with people from a range of ages and backgrounds across Lancashire to improve their health and wellbeing through regular contact with nature. We run free weekly sessions at a number of locations.

Find out more about our project.

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