Welcome to the twelfth week of our 'Summer of Self-Love' project
Each week throughout the summer, I'll be giving you one suggestion of something to do to enrich either your mind, body or soul.
I'm sharing a weekly video on our Facebook page each Monday, with that week's idea.
However, I don't like watching videos, so in case anyone else feels the same way (which is basically 'Why can't I just read it?'), each Wednesday, I'll be doing a blog post like this, one, where you can either read what to do, or watch the video (just scroll down).
Spend time in nature
Across the summer we've been nourishing our minds, bodies and souls and for our final week, this is my absolute favourite thing of all to nourish your soul.
This week is all about spending some time in nature.
Nature can mean different things to different people – I love trees and forests, you might love beaches, so if you can get to your absolute favourite place then do. But if you can't get to the place you love the most, then just go to where you can, for as long as you can, to find some quiet, peaceful, calm time for yourself.
Technically, I spend time in nature every day, just by walking my dogs. But what I don't do in that time is take any time at all to pause, really look at my surroundings and enjoy where I am. I mainly trudge through a field, calling my dogs or chatting to whoever I'm with.
So, for me, this week is about going beyond what I usually do – for example, where the studio is, we are 2 minutes from a lake to go and walk around, and on from that there are fields to walk. But I rarely go there. I could, each day, take just a 15/20 minute break and sit and look at the lake, listen to the birds sing, and clear my head.
So for me this week, I need to do that at least once, with no one else, no distractions.
If you love walking, this is the perfect week to go for a walk in the countryside. We are blessed in Oxfordshire with beautiful places to walk.
If you're in a city, this is trickier, so you've got to find your space, get out of the city if you can, or find a park, or another quiet spot that you can quietly enjoy.
You might love being in your garden, but perhaps you rarely just sit in it without doing something – this week is not about being busy. Pause in the space you find. If you've got time, you could read a book or listen to music, but drink in your surroundings and appreciate them.
This could take some effort to even find somewhere, or you might be lucky and be going on holiday somewhere that makes this easy. You are worth putting effort into though. When you prioritise yourself, as part of your general routine, your self-worth increases, your confidence increases, it's all a positive effect on your mental health. So don't not do things that could prove to be beneficial to you, just because they take a bit of effort. You would put that effort into doing things for someone else.
It's one small part of one day to try to get some time, outdoors, for you.