4 Reasons why a country break reunites you with
others & yourself
With everything the world has gone through these last 18 months, it’s more essential than ever to maintain your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Whether you’re escaping the stresses of a COVID confining year or simply in need of a long-overdue break from the daily grind of work and family life, we all need a time out.
Time to disconnect and destress. Time to reset and rejuvenate our senses. To take stock and reflect on what’s important in our lives. A retreat to nature is instinctive for most of us, usually as a healing antidote to everyday stress. Whether that be…
- feeding your soul with calm and quiet
- protecting your mental state by disconnecting from the daily humdrum
- stretching your legs and re-energising your body
- or catching up with loved ones and reconnecting with family.
Here we’ll be looking at 4 reasons why spending some vital R & R in the country is the best investment you can make to your overall health and wellbeing. You’ll also see the priceless benefits it offers to reunite you with friends, loved ones and most importantly, yourself.
Why Nature Is Good For You
Ever wondered why your senses are often exposed to the calming natural sounds of babbling brooks and crashing waves when you indulge in a treatment or massage? Or why so many guided meditations strongly feature nature as the main subject for visualisation? How conjuring up images and sensations of standing on a Highland hillside, eyes closed, soaking in the warmth of the sun as it radiates over your body, the playful sound of distant birds, and the smell of wildflowers in the air. Well, that’s my natural “happy place” and you’ll have yours. My point is, it’s no coincidence. For most of us, visualising nature brings a sense of calm and quiet to the soul and encourages relaxation.
Further proof that we not only crave nature, we need it. The many benefits of spending time outdoors are well-researched and proven to be an incredibly powerful tool for healing our minds, bodies, and souls. The scientific research on eco-therapy has shown the positive therapeutic effect retreating back to nature has on our mental health and wellbeing alone when fighting anxiety, depression and burnout. Such are its healing powers a dose of nature is now even being prescribed by GP’s. Read on to learn why a stay in the country might be just what the doctor ordered.
# 1 – It’s Good For Your Soul
Nature has long been associated with powerful spiritual healing and restoring balance. It has an almost mystical way of lifting the weight of the world off your shoulders and allowing your spirit the freedom to breathe to the rhythm of the world around you, bringing about almost instantly relaxation. I think we can all agree, getting out in nature is has always been considered good for you.
It seems an obvious statement, as if we needed any proof to back up our hunch. But countless scientific studies have all repeatedly reached the same irrefutable conclusions – when human beings spend time in nature their stress levels decrease, and they feel more at peace. The science shows stress hormones, blood pressure and heart rate all decreased after people spent time outside, walking in nature.
So that feeling you get of a quiet stillness as you catch an uncontrollable smile creeping across your face is in fact nature working its therapeutic magic. You feel happier and more at peace, scientifically speaking.
#2 – It’s Good For Your Head
Emotional and mental health is more important than ever. It’s critical to your overall health and that of your relationships.
Emotionally healthy people are better equipped to…
- control their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours
- cope with life’s challenges and make better decisions
- keep problems in perspective and bounce back from setbacks
- feel good about themselves
- have healthy relationships
Again research has shown how nature therapy is effective in warding off depression and positively affects your mood and mental state. A study by Stanford researchers even reinforced the need to escape built-up areas to rural surroundings to reduce the strains on our mental health.
Patients were split up and asked to hike and walk in nature versus walking through a shopping centre. A staggering 71% of patients who walked in nature reported decreased depressive symptoms as opposed to 41% who walked in the shopping centre. With most of the world being cooped up inside for the last 18 months it may well be time to tell our heads to “take a hike”.
#3 – It’s Good For Your Body
How many times have we heard it “regular exercise is good for you”? Yes, we know, we get it! Of course we understand the benefits of exercise but a lot of us struggle with finding the time in our busy everyday lives to get to the gym, yoga class or go for that run.
Spending time off in the country offers a chance to get in your daily steps with the added benefit of exploring new landscapes and spectacular views. Heading out for a hike in the mountains or adventure through the forest hardly feels like a slog down the gym but you’ll reap the same rewards for your body, and you can do it in your own time, there are no stopwatches in nature.
Scotland, and in particular the Highlands, offers probably the best walking available around the world. There’s everything from low level strolls to the Mountains and in particular the Munro’s, the 3000-foot mountains of which there are 284. Surely enough choice for any avid hiker, and everything in between for all ages and abilities.
Fancy a swim? Nature’s got you covered. Why swim lengths when you can swim lochs? Wild and cold-water swimming is a fantastic way to get your daily laps in with some amazing health benefits to boot. If you’ve never experienced wild swimming before, basically it’s swimming in natural bodies of water, rivers, ponds, oceans, lakes and in Scotland, lochs. It’s a great way to cool off in the summer or an invigorating way to start your day.
- Better Sleep
- Increased happiness
- Boosted immune system
- Preventing & managing long-term health conditions
Nature also heals the body. It turns out mere images of nature can aid recovery. “What?”
A researcher in the field of nature therapy research, Roger Ulrich performed studies on post-operative patients spending time recovering from heart surgeries who were shown mere images of trees and water. These patients required less pain medication and showed lower levels of stress and anxiety during their recovery than those who were not. Can you imagine what the real thing can do?
# 4 – It’s Good For Your Heart
Obviously, we know from years of medical data and from the good Dr Ulrich that it’s good for your physical heart, but what we’re talking about here is your other heart. You know, the one that lights up when you see a loved one or when you feel a sense of pride or belonging.
Spending valuable time together is crucial for strong enduring relationships, whether it be a couple or friends and family. A trip to the country offers a chance to find a cosy hideaway to call home for a while and take the opportunity to explore new places and share memorable experiences.
Venture out on a bus tour to a local distillery or attraction without the worry about who’s driving. Take in the local sights and walks or stay in with a board game by the fire. Whatever it is you do, do it together. A country break is a great way to reconnect with loved ones.
It’s good for the kids too. With kids these days exposed to captivating social media and increasing screen times, getting them to unplug and experience the world around them is critical for their mental and physical wellbeing. Spending quality time with family is an important part of their development.
Spending time with family in nature…
- Helps children perform well academically
- Lowers risk of behavioural problems
- Boosts self-confidence
- Helps them learn future parenting skills
- Teaches conflict resolution
- Reduces stress
- Promotes adaptability
- Enhances physical health
And the list goes on. Whether it’s with just you and your partner, your bigger family unit or with friends you haven’t seen for a while – Taking the time to reconnect together in nature is a great way to reinforce those relationships and spend real quality time together.
Nature Basically Heals Everything!
To sum it up, whether you’re looking to provide peace for the soul, reset and open the mind, strengthen, and heal the body, or open and warm the heart, a retreat to nature is the great connector. It connects with all these 4 aspects of us as human beings, the spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional.
It feeds our instinctual yearning to be out in the wild. A retreat to the country is ultimately a great way to experience the healing power of nature that reconnects us with loved ones and ourselves.
How Can I Get Back To Nature?
- Book a break in the country with your loved ones.
- Take walks, hikes, bike rides… maybe even a wild swim.
- Have adventures together. Make memories!
- Unplug and spend quality time together.
These are the things our guests have come to enjoy when they visit us at Beechwood Lodge. We’re more than just a great place to stay in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, we’re an escape from the stresses of day-to-day life.
A peaceful retreat to be used to heal whatever ails you. We passionately believe in the healing power nature has to offer and we’re here to help make your country stay as restful and rejuvenating as possible. Get in touch about one of our staycation packages and come experience all that nature has to offer.