Since the pandemic hit, we have been confined to living and, for some of us, working indoors. During lockdown, our encounters with nature have had a huge impact on our wellbeing. Going for a walk in the park, listening to bird song and the sound of the wind in the trees overhead has given us some much-needed solace in these difficult times. Understandably, this year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is nature so we’ve listed some insightful and comforting books on the healing power of nature.
Losing Eden: Why Our Minds Need the Wild by Lucy Jones
(Penguin, Paperback/Ebook/Audiobook, February 2021)
As we lose our bond with the natural world, might we also be losing part of ourselves? Journalist Lucy Jones asks this question in this uplifting examination about the healing power of nature. Losing Eden takes us on a journey that explores how and why connecting with the natural world can have such an impact on our health. Drawing on cutting-edge research, Lucy Jones explores how we need to reconnect with nature and protect our fragile ecosystems for ourselves and the planet.
Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age by Sue Thomas
(CreateSpace, Paperback/Ebook, July 2017)
Dr Sue Thomas has 25 years’ experience in internet research and explains how technology can actually connect us to the natural world. Many of us feel ashamed about the amount of time we spend on our phones and when we attempt a digital detox we usually fail. Dr Thomas explains that there’s a better way to manage a tech-free life without having to go offline. Featuring 50 practical tips to increase your digital wellbeing this is the perfect book if you want to learn how to relax without feeling guilty about being online.
By the Sea by Dr Deborah Cracknell
(Aster, Hardback/Ebook, March 2019)
Spending time by the sea does wonders for our wellbeing and makes us feel happier and healthier. In this beautiful photographic book, Dr Deborah Cracknell, a research fellow at the University of Exeter, explores the therapeutic benefits of the sea using the latest research. Dr Cracknell explores the healing power of the ocean from the restorative sounds of the ocean to the benefits of negative ions in the sea air.
Bird Therapy by Joe Harkness
(Unbound, Paperback/Ebook/Audiobook, April 2020)
‘I can’t remember the last book I read that I could say with absolute assurance would save lives. But this one will’ – Chris Packham.
Longlisted for the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing 2020, Bird Therapy is a groundbreaking memoir about how ornithology saved one man’s life. Joe Harkness had a breakdown in 2013 and whilst medication, counselling and mindfulness had some effect, nothing came close to nature – specifically birds. Joe’s honest account is filled with practical advice and strategies for coping with mental illness.
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