After a year of meeting online, missing our loved ones and being unable to do the things that bring us joy, the hopefully final easing of lockdown restrictions brings a much needed ‘return to normal’ for many. While we may find ourselves making plans to begin to explore again, it seems only natural that we might also be a little bit apprehensive about stepping back outside.
We’ve spent so long keeping ourselves safe from coronavirus and following guidelines, but what can we do to ensure we continue to look after ourselves whilst getting back to that much needed dose of nature to help our wellbeing? Whether it be a day trip out exploring somewhere new, a Scouting adventure back with our friends or retracing a well-loved pre-lockdown route there are simple steps we can take to ensure we do so safely.
In an age where very few of us leave the house without our mobile phones, why not make use of the apps and settings readily available to us. We’ve all heard someone say ‘text me to let me know you get there okay’ or ‘let me know you’re home safe’, but what about during our actual exploring? Below are just a few examples of ways to keep yourself safe whilst boosting your wellbeing.
- Whatsapp has a live location feature which allows you to share your real-time location with either an individual or group for a specific length of time. You can turn it off at any point and your exact location will no longer be accessible, but your last shown location will be.
- What3words app allows you to pin point your exact location should you need to contact the emergency services or you find yourself in a vast area with the same postcode. Every 3m square of the world has been given a unique combination of three words, making it easily identifiable and quickly located.
- Many mobiles also have an emergency call feature, which allows you to both make an emergency call and share your location at the same time. The way this works varies between phone makes. For Apple, this is in the form of an Emergency SOS which automatically calls the emergency services and can also be set up to alert your emergency contacts of your location. How this is activated can vary between models; find out more. For Samsung, there is feature in your advanced settings which can be found here.
Whilst getting back to nature, please do so safely. Always let someone know where you are and avoid being alone where possible, but most importantly, enjoy the great outdoors!
Why not try a mindfulness walk to connect with nature again?
Jess Makin =)
County Mental Health Awareness Coordinator