Nature is our best medicine. If you are feeling low or stressed, just go for a walk in nature. Always works. But the more that the natural world is destroyed, the worse it is for humans, dogs and wildlife. These books are far more important reading than some policy paper from government. These books are written from the soul: muses on why protecting Nature is the no.1 policy for public health. Newts over new offices!
- Nature Tonic: A Year in My Mindful Life is a beautiful workbook by a Dutch artist, who invites us to a daily dose of ecotherapy, to soothe our souls. Practical prompts entwine with meditative notes on the zen of forest bathing, the simple pleasures of botanical drawing and ways to reconnect our souls with the soil. Watch a fern unroll, sleep in a hammock on a summer evening, or greet the morning sun.
- The Wild Journal is a beautifully illustrated guide by nature writer Willow Crossley. Guiding you through creative practical projects and seasonal reflections, it shows the potential of nature to mend, heal and transform our mood. Listen to birdsong, identify wildflowers, take beach walks and gaze at the stars.
- Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need The Wild is a beautifully written book for anyone feeling disconnected from the natural world. Many people live indoors (often not through choice), yet nature remains a deep part of our language, culture and consciousness. We know intuitively that we need communion with the wild, to feel well. So what happens as we lose our bond with the natural world. Might we also lose part of ourselves?
- The Wild Remedy is a hand-illustrated diary on how Emma healed her depression, by moving from the city to the Cambridgeshire Fens, taking daily walks that proved as medicinal as any talking therapy or pharmaceutical. Join Emma as she shares her nature finds of local flora and fauna, over the course of a year. If you live with animals, see make your garden safe for pets, regarding suggested garden projects.
There is increasing scientific evidence that both crafting and contact with nature can boost mood and help to fend off depression by altering the levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine in our brains. Emma Mitchell
Breath of Fresh Air is a book on how to feel good, all year round. Switch off from social media, and tune into the natural world with 50 seasonal activities to enjoy through the year. Structured by seasons – find joy in the natural world. The 50 creative and imaginative ways include:
- Paddle in a canoe
- Spot swallows on a summer evening
- Daydream on a deckchair
- Forage for wild garlic
- Watch a film at an outdoor cinema
- Record the sounds you hear in the forest
- Wander through a bluebell wood
- Use nature’s gym to practice yoga or balance on logs
- Take up running or play in the snow
Beautifully illustrated throughout, the book includes lots of handy tips on where to visit or find ways to find welling. The perfect book to find inner contentment in today’s frantic world.
About the Author
Rebecca Frank is an editor and writer, and currently commissioning editor at The Simple Things magazine.
Staying Alive in Toxic Times is a seasonal guide to lifelong health. If you are confused by what to eat or what supplements to take or how to reverse pollution effects or how to eat seasonally, this book is for you. Dr Jenny sets out exactly what to eat to live a healthy life, and how to adapt our lifestyle, according to the season we are in. She safely deals with diet, vitamins and minerals, offers sensible ways to detox without healthy eating fads, and uses her knowledge to bust myths. She also looks at how to avoid seasonal health hazards like indoor pollution, hay fever and SAD (seasonal affective disorder). With so many people feeling tired or run-down, this timely guide is what you need to live healthy.
About the Author
Dr Jenny Goodman is a medical doctor, broadcaster and lecturer. After working in general medicine, she did post-graduate training in nutritional and environmental medicine that radically transformed her approach to helping patients. She has been practicing environmental medicine for over 20 years.
The Nature Remedy is a beautifully illustrated restorative guide to the natural world. For a new generation (including city-dwellers). Learn how being outside can help our own health, both physical and emotional. Reconnect with nature, and learn everything about the wild world outside our door. Faith Douglas takes us on an adventure, spanning all areas of nature.
Learn how trees, birds, insects, seasons and the weather can impact us for the better. And learn how they can heal and improve our well-being. Modern life puts pressure on us, but getting to the great outdoors is never an easy feat. Faith shows how to embrace it from right where you are – whether it’s making the most of your garden or creating your own inner sanctum, in a tiny flat.
This book includes practical tips that involve gardening (like planting trees). If you do these actions, see make your garden safe for pets to know toxic plants to avoid near furry friends (also avoid cocoa mulch, pine mulch and fresh compost near pets, use humane safe slug & snail deterrents and use no-dig garden methods to protect earthworms.
From foraging for herbs and nutritious pick-me-ups to outdoor meditation and growing your own therapeutic urban garden, this book includes simple remedies and recipes, to take you back to nature -wherever you are. Filled with beautiful photography and line drawings, this is ideal to bring a piece of the outdoors into your home.
Trees naturally give off something called ‘phytoncides‘ or ‘wood essential oils’, these oils when inhaled have been scientifically proven to have a beneficial impact on our nervous systems. This means that quite simply being within a wooded area we can see our stress levels reduced, mood disorders be more balanced and our overall quality of life improved. Faith Douglas
About the Author
Faith Douglas is curator of the Thorp Perrow arboretum. She was a nurse then trained in horticulture, working for a charity that delivers horticulture as therapy to adults with learning disabilities. She helped Help for Heroes to assist on their Welcome to Yorkshire garden, designed by Matthew Wilson.
Healthy Placemaking: Wellbeing Through Urban Design looks at 6 core themes to create the towns of tomorrow. Each theme looks at the problems and solutions. The book looks at how creating healthy places can bring down the number of common conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancers and mental health problems, by encouraging walking and cycling communities, public parks and mixed-use communities.
See indoor houseplants to avoid near pets (brushing a tail against Swiss cheese plant, sago palm or lily can harm). Read how to create healing spaces (includes info on toxic outdoor plants, mulch & trees to avoid near pets). Also see the best natural house paints.
The main threats to public health are considered ‘avoidable illnesses’ which are usually caused by lack of exercise and physical activity. Research shows how architecture founds a big role in reducing illness, by enabling health through healthier streets. The six themes include:
- Urban planning
- Walkable communities
- Neighbourhood building blocks
- Movement networks
- Environmental integration
- Community empowerment
About the Author
Fred London is an architecture, who focuses on wellbeing.
Finding Mindfulness in Nature is by mindfulness experts Dr Nina Smiley and David Harp, who have created a simple little book with quotes from poets and philosophers, to explore important themes of nature, spirituality, simple beauty and joyful living. More than just a walk in the woods, this is a carefully crafted and deliberate approach to achieve better health and well-being and is ideal for all ages.