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As we are stuck indoors for the foreseeable future, frustrations and stress can start to rise. With the allowance of one daily exercise session outside, we highly recommend a daily walk, run or cycle for your mental health as well as your physical wellbeing. If you happen to have a garden or patio now is the perfect time to use it. We’ve gathered some ideas on how to make use of your time in your outdoor space below.
There’s something so soothing about gardening. It keeps you physically active with strenuous activities such as digging and weeding. Nevertheless, it is also beneficial for your mental health as getting in touch with nature can often feel therapeutic. The act of weeding a garden can almost feel like decluttering your home, which we spoke about in our article on ways to combat cabin fever. Weeding a garden is a rewarding task when you see the results of the work you have done and it also acts as a metaphor for clearing your thoughts of clutter and stress.
Our local flower arranger and florist, Linda Cooper of The Flower Pavilion, suggests planting little plugs of perennials as they are quite reliable. Once established, they pop up every year and can be divided into new plants. “The garden is just coming into life now with these plants starting to peep through. Think beautiful blue spires of Delphiniums, dainty bobbing Aquilegia, statement Digitalis (Foxglove), long flowering Astrantia and everyone’s favourite, Sea Holly. Most of these are excellent as cut flowers in a vase too – if you can bear to cut them!”
As we come into Spring, take solace in your garden with all the beautiful colours of the flowers that are in bloom, especially the Hyacinths and Tulips. Soak up the much needed Vitamin D during sunny spells and enjoy the fresh air.
It can be hard when you don’t have a garden or patio space to use outside. However, you can still have a green thumb by planting herbs in pots on your kitchen windowsill or having other potted plants around your home. Nurturing and taking care of a houseplant can be beneficial for your mental health as looking after a living thing can give you a sense of purpose especially when you see it blooming and thriving. Houseplants produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide which is helpful to our health and the environment. The release of oxygen eliminates toxins in the air. In fact, studies by NASA have shown that houseplants can remove up to 87 per cent of air toxin in just 24 hours giving you fresher and cleaner air in your home.
Houseplants are also said to increase productivity. A UK Study, found bringing a plant into a work or office space increased productivity by 15% and had a positive effect on mood. Try placing a houseplant next to your laptop or wherever your current set up is for working from home to increase your mood and productivity. Linda recommends a Purple Shamrock (Oxalis Triangularis), it has such a beautiful colour and it has triangular leaves that open and close in the sun. “Water it every 2 to 3 days but if you forget it usually bounces back.”
Restyle your patio space
If you happen to have some outdoor space, why not restyle it with some furniture and soft furnishings? Even the smallest of spaces can fit a chair or two for you to sit and enjoy some much needed sunshine when we’re lucky enough to get it.
We may not be able to socialise with others at the moment but restyling your outdoor space in preparation for future entertaining can give you a good project to focus on. It can also be a space for you to enjoy in the meantime. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. If the area is covered and sheltered from rainy or windy weather, why not set up an outdoor rug with a large sized ottoman and comfy chair for an outdoor reading snug or invest in a beautifully handcrafted dining table to have a wonderful entertaining space for lighter and warmer summer evenings.
Lighting your outdoor living space can change the feel of it. We have an exquisite selection of outdoor lighting all handmade in Britain by skilled lighting specialists, from cordless lamps that can functionally be moved from indoors to outdoors to outdoor pendant lights.
The Hazel Floor Lamp, creatively made in Birmingham, is a perfect edition to any outdoor space. It is provided with a mains connection; nevertheless, it can be made with an internal rechargeable battery on request, making it easier to move around. The Outdoor Light Slate Stool is another innovative design for your outdoor living space. Handcrafted from the most beautiful glass fibre-backed slate veneer in Stirling, this versatile piece is an outdoor seat, a light and it also functions as a gorgeous sculpture. It is battery powered so there is no risk of tangling cables.
Exercise is really important for your physical and mental wellbeing through this lockdown. With gyms and community centres closed, you need to make do with what you have to exercise at home. Use what space you can in your garden to set up a cross fit or circuit training regime for interval and high cardio exercise. You could even set up a small kid-friendly assault course for children to have some fun and get active. A garden, patio or summer house space might also be the most soothing place to do some yoga, pilates or even just simple stretches.
If you don’t have the outdoor space in your home then get outside for a walk, run or cycle once a day. Getting the fresh air will improve your mood and help stave off the feeling of cabin fever. We know how frustrating it can be but it is vital for everyone to stay at home right now and make do with what we can. Our NHS are doing a remarkable job and we need to help them by doing our part.
If you’d like any design consultation, from styling a corner in your sitting room to deciding on a paint colour, the AUTHOR team is on hand to help. Please get in touch with any of your design or styling questions.
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