Daily time spent outdoors is absolutely vital in ensuring that my mental wellbeing remains as well as possible

Daily time spent outdoors is absolutely vital in ensuring that my mental wellbeing remains as well as possible. This has never been more important than in the last year, when we have all experienced a year like no other; it has proved to be very challenging, and at times unsettling and scary, and has taken some adaptation and resilience. Without my twice daily forays along the beach, river or in the woods (with my faithful wee dogs for company), I am certain that I would not have felt as mentally well as I have, for the most part.

Elizabeth Boyall is a Recovery Practitioner (Peer) in Penumbra’s Moray team

The very nature of walking is relaxing and de-stressing. Listening to birdsong, the crashing of the waves and other natural sounds really calms me and distracts me from any worries that I may have.

Swimming in the sea is a brilliant distraction! The anti-inflammatory response that my body experiences is so helpful for physical and mental discomfort. The sea is different every time you go in and is such an enriching and euphoric experience (as soon as the initial discomfort of cold passes). Meeting other likeminded people wild swimming is also mentally enriching. It gives you confidence and builds self-esteem. I have recently tried Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) again. This was great fun and again gave me a sense of achievement and was a real boost for my mental health! I really recommend it! Great whatever your age.

Whenever I am outdoors, I always meet friendly people to pass the time of day with. Connection with others is so valuable for mental wellbeing. As I live alone and work from home, it is so important to talk with people every day.

This blog was written by Penumbra Recovery Practitioner (Peer), Elizabeth Boyall. Huge thanks to Elizabeth for sharing her blog with us. We loved hearing about the wild swimming, an activity that seems to be growing in popularity. If you have an outdoorsy blog you’d like to share with us, drop us a line communications@penumbra.org.uk