Strengthening your connection with nature by spending more time outside in all weathers, learning about the natural cycles of the year and tuning into the sights, sounds and smells of the natural world can help you see a bigger picture that exists outside of yourself.
By participating in an ecotherapy project, you could meet new people, lessen any isolation and loneliness, and increase your sense of belonging, build your peer support network, create more of a structure to your week, and make connections with people which may develop into long-term friendships.
Ecotherapy can help build your confidence through providing the satisfaction of completing tasks and contributing to positive change for yourself and the environment, and potentially providing opportunities to gain qualifications.
Ecotherapy can help build your confidence through enabling you to meet and overcome new challenges, trying new activities and learning new skills, which can increase your confidence to try new things in other areas of your life, and increasing your motivation to stay active.
Doing physical activity is known to have many physical and mental health benefits; getting more regular social contact with people can reduce loneliness and boost self-esteem; being surrounded by nature can boost your overall mood and sense of wellbeing.
Ecotherapy can make a significant difference to how you feel. It can reduce depression, reduce anger, reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, improve your mood and self-esteem, and increase your emotional resilience.
You can start ecotherapy on your own or with a group. Sessions often include some type of formal therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or other talking treatment. You can find activities near you through the online Ecotherapy Directory (http://bit.ly/28ncBk5).
People join ecotherapy programmes because it can improve mental and physical health, develops your social life, build your confidence, strengthen your connection with nature and help you practise mindfulness.
Ecotherapy: “It gives me structure, makes me utilise the daylight and get out of bed. It gives me something outside of myself to nurture and look after and that helps me to better look after myself.”