Christmas Countdown #4 – find your happy place

It’s the start of the first weekend after the second full lockdown – so what better for your mental health than to get outdoors to clear your head and give your wellbeing a boost.

Mental health charity, MIND, says that spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. Being around nature, exercising outdoors or being around animals can have lots of positive effects including improving your mood, reducing stress or anger, improving physical health, confidence or self-esteem and helping you make new connections.

The winner in our ‘Outdoors’ category of the Ross in Lockdown photo competition 2020 was sent in by Mollie Basten of Tails & Trails. Her happy place, she said, is walking her dogs on May Hill and taking in the stunning countryside and nature. This National Trust trail has breathtaking views and you can see across Herefordshire and the Severn Estuary, the Forest of Dean, the Cotswolds and across to the Black Mountains.

Visit Herefordshire has plenty of information on walking routes around the county and Walking in Ross has some great ideas if you want to get out and about in our stunning countryside. If you fancy some company, local group Mental Health Mates also meets up for socially distanced group walks throughout the year so if you fancy joining Pete, Sam or Eli on their next outing, you can email them at mentalhealthmatesrossonwye@gmail.com or find them on Instagram @MHMRoss_on_Wye.

Walking for Health is England’s largest network of health walks, with over 350 active walking schemes, helping people across the country lead a more active lifestyle. Their Ross-on-Wye group meets twice a month at Ross Community Hospital on Alton Street. Their walks are gentle and last for approximately an hour, so if you’d like to join their friendly group, contact Barbara on 01989 770976 or email barbara.lewis13@btinternet.com

For even more information on how to get healthy and active, the WISH Herefordshire website has some great resources you can browse through. Search ‘Outdoor Activities‘ in their ‘Services & groups‘ directory for details of local walking groups and organisations.

So get your scarf and wellies on and try and find some space and peace this weekend before the Christmas festivities set in!

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