The devastation of COVID-19 is undeniable. There has been too much heartache and people have found themselves in dreadful situations. While we haven’t been able to open and our business has suffered, we know that we are extremely lucky not least because we are living here in this beautiful landscape in this beautiful county and surrounded by the magic of nature.
With lockdown came Spring. Nature is not only carrying on but it has given even more than usual perhaps because we have been kinder to her over the last few months but also because we’ve had time to understand her more and appreciate her in all of her magnificence.
We’ve been surrounded here by the incredible beauty of nature. I watched the new born lambs from our office window cuddle up to mum and then, with confidence, explore and play with new friends, knowing that mum would always find them. In April the daffodils lined the country lane outside the campsite and golden bunches made an appearance everywhere on the campsite. Each time I walk around the site I am treated to another flower and I make it my duty to learn what it is. We have gorse, spectacular apple blossom, heavenly scented roses of all kinds and hawthorn trees. In the shady areas that we’ve allowed to grow naturally the bluebells made an appearance along with the wild garlic and poppies
I have no doubt that being surrounded by nature and its beauty has made a difference to our wellbeing during what could have been a very stressful time and it’s made me realise why people love to go camping and to be outdoors and why camping now following a difficult lockdown could be so beneficial
But it’s not just my word. I’m being “guided by the science” too. Being outdoors has been scientifically proven to have psychological and physiological benefits such as reducing blood pressure, muscle tension, heart rate and the production of stress hormones. Here are just some of the reasons that camping can be just what the doctor ordered!
Listening to the birdsong and watching nature happen around you can take you away from the stresses of work and distractions of everyday life. Along with that, scientists have found that breathing in the fresh air of the outdoors increases the oxygen level which increases the levels of serotonin making you feel happier, calmer, less anxious and more focused. That boost of serotonin can improve the memory and learning also
A vitamin D boost
Being outdoors means your body absorbs the sunlight needed to produce vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is important for healthy bones and teeth but it’s also been found to have an important role in our immune system and in reducing depression
Being outdoors naturally means more exercise and especially here the opportunities for walking and cycling are endless. Apart from reducing the risk of major illnesses such as stroke or heart disease, research shows that physical activity also boosts self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy and helps reduce stress and depression
Sleeping in the outdoors under canvas means an increase in oxygen and better sleep. Melatonin is a natural hormone which helps control your sleep-wake cycle. Being outside in the natural light rather than the artificial light of the office or home, increases our melatonin and therefore improves our sleep. That’s all good for our general health and wellbeing in every way.
Unplug and reconnect with nature
Recharge your own batteries rather than the phone or tablet and see how relaxed this makes you feel. Studies have shown that a reliance on electronic devices is a major cause of stress and those who have access to emails during their break can suffer with higher blood pressure. It also means that you can spend more time connecting with your friends and family, communicating and doing things together. This can only be good for your wellbeing
There’s never been a more important time to look after ourselves and boost our immune system and general wellbeing so why not come outside and camp. Nurture yourself in nature