As the days shorten, it is more important than ever to schedule time outdoors to maintain mood and alertness during the day. Morning is best, but any time will do. To make the most of that time, try using all of your senses to be mindful of what is around you. What can you see, hear, smell, taste and feel?
On my walk today, I saw fallen leaves, red yew berries and rosehips, fluffy old man’s beard, developing hazel catkins, sunlight and shadows, blue sky, a thin sheet of cloud, green fields, autumnal trees and a flock of finches drinking from a puddle. I heard rooks calling, children playing, kids bleating, dogs barking, a horse whinnying, and leaves rustling on the trees, falling to the ground and crunching underfoot. I could smell smoke from a bonfire, and I felt the warmth of the sun on my back and a cool breeze on my face.
It doesn’t matter whether you are walking for leisure or with a purpose, in nature or in a man-made environment, it is always worth tuning in to the senses and just noticing. Mindful attention outdoors adds value to the experience and helps calm the mind.
Enjoy making the most of your time outdoors over the autumn and winter!