Wetlands and wellbeing: A guide for winter

This year, we connected with nature in new and surprising ways. Many of us found comfort in the longer days of spring and felt hope as we watched nature come to life around us. As the leaves start to fall and the nights draw in, many of us are wondering what the future holds. Now more than ever we need to make the most of nature’s healing powers.

Created by WWT in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation.

Although research suggests that 120 minutes might be the optimal amount of time to spend in nature a week, this can be made up of short spells – and we should prioritise quality over quantity. Making a deep emotional connection with nature is more beneficial than exposure alone. And even if you can’t get outside, there are ways to bring the outside in, through creativity and community

Five steps to find a connection with nature

1. Engage all our senses – touch, smell, sight, hearing, taste. Closing your eyes for just a moment can heighten our other senses.

2. Explore our positive emotional connections with nature that allow us to feel calmer and happier.

3. Look for beauty in things, such as appreciating natural scenery or engaging with nature through art and music.

4. Look for the hidden meanings, emphasise traditions, localness, seasonality and language – nature is everywhere, from folklore to place names.

5. Show compassion by developing a moral and ethical concern for nature, such as making ethical product choices or helping an animal.

Everyone is different – you may find certain methods create a greater connection for you than others.

Read the full guide