Happy New Year!!
It’s the start of 2023 and after a cold December, January can seem quite a daunting prospect.
But, January can be a chance to make some changes for the better, to beat those winter blues and reboot our mental health.
The new year brings a sense of rejuvenation and the chance to start as we mean to go on, so we’ve put together some ways in which you could use the new start as an opportunity to reset and take care of your mental health and wellbeing.
Recycle and Reuse
The start of January can be an excellent opportunity to declutter after Christmas. The gifts, Christmas decorations and Christmas cards from the festive period bring joy and festive spirit, but what happens next?
- To make room for the gifts you’ve received, have a go at decluttering so they filter into your life seamlessly.
- You can donate any unwanted items to charity or shelters. Try donating clothing to clothing banks or selling through second-hand clothing websites.
- Christmas cards and packaging can be recycled through household collections or local refuse centres.
- You can even help those struggling to afford food in your community by donating extra food to your local foodbank.
The process of decluttering can be a real boost to our mental health. Decluttering and cleanliness can have such positive impacts on our mental health.
A 2010 study by the University of California showed that clutter and unfinished projects can mean we are more likely to suffer from depression and fatigue. So creating a restful and restorative home can prevent this. If you fancy taking it a step further, and having a go at upcycling unwanted household items, why not have a go at making a book from recycled paper? Or even handmade jewellery?
We have art workshops which will show you how.
This is always a very popular option for a new years resolution. A new year diet can be just the tonic after the overindulgence of Christmas. Focusing on what we eat is a great way to take care of our health.
Now in its 8th year, this challenge is to try a vegan diet for the month of January.
One of the health benefits of consuming a vegan diet is the lowering risk of heart disease, but there are many more. With vegan options increasing in supermarkets and restaurants, it’s a great time to try.
Here’s some handy advice from the NHS so you can see if the vegan diet is right for you.
If you aren’t ready for a full time vegan diet, you can always reduce your meat intake – why not try meat free Mondays?
This challenge is also popular after the festivities of Christmas.
With impressive stats from previous participants including 70% reporting they had better sleep and 66% reporting they had more energy, it’s certainly a great one to try to better your health.
Thinking of giving it a try?
Connecting with your environment where you can immerse your senses to the sights, sounds, smells, texture and even taste of nature can give you such a boost. Research shows that those with a good connection to nature are happier. Spending time in nature can lower depression and anxiety, and a deeper nature connection is linked to improved wellbeing, so getting outdoors as much as possible is the antidote to beating those winter blues.
Here’s some activities which can help improve your connection to nature.
- Birdwatching – Identify the birds you see and understand how bird populations change through the seasons. Our handy wildlife guides can help you.
- Nature walking – Get outdoors and enjoy some exercise with friends and family. See what you can discover along your walk. Fancy a well deserved holiday too? We offer nature holidays throughout the year.
- Foraging – A great way to connect with nature is to better understand and identify the plants and fruits that we can include in home cooking. If you’re a beginner, do familiarise yourself with the safe practices of foraging.
- Hiking – Whether you’re physically fit or a beginner, set yourself a challenge that’s achievable for you. This could be anything from a stroll along the canal path to the summit of a mountain. A hike with an end goal will bring a real sense of achievement.
- Community groups – Find out if there are any nature based community groups near you. From biological recording groups to fungi fanatics. This can be a great way to meet new people and learn more about your local environment.
- Natural History Learning – Join us at one of our field centres across the UK to learn more about the natural world around us.
The Big Garden Birdwatch from RSPB takes place each year and is a great opportunity to help us better understand bird populations here in the UK. This could be a great activity to do as a family or with friends and it can bring great satisfaction knowing you’re assisting in this national campaign to learn more about how birds are faring.
You don’t need a garden to take part, just access to green space which could be your balcony, local park or woodland.
Taking place this year between 27-29th January, have your binoculars ready to see how many birds you can spot.
Get Creative in Nature
Getting involved in art workshops and programs can be a great way to meet new people and to learn a new skill. Since the pandemic, many people have experienced loneliness and isolation in a bid to keep safe from the disease. Art and creativity can be a great step into alleviating feelings of loneliness and can be another chance to connect with nature too.
Swapping computer and phone screens for paper and canvas will help you disconnect, unwind and relax. We live in such a face paced world where we’re always connected to the internet. Our range of art workshops and art holidays can be the perfect tonic.
New Year Break with Family and Friends
After the busy festive season, why not book yourself a break to relax, unwind and blow away those cobwebs. Enjoying nature and the great outdoors during the winter months can be an enlightening experience.
Our centres are located in some of the most picturesque locations in the UK, giving you great access to nature.
We have a fantastic new year offer to cut the cost of new year group bookings and venue hire at our centres with 10% off January and February dates.
Find out more by visiting our group accommodation page.
So what will you be trying this January? We’d love to see how you’ll be starting 2023. Will you be connecting with nature? Will you be giving Veganuary a go?
Or is there something we haven’t mentioned you think we should try?
Use the hashtag #FSCWinterWellbeing to tag us on social media and we’ll share our favourites!