Things to do in the forest

Feel-good things to do in the forest

Decreased stress levels, strengthened immune system, higher concentration, better memory … The reasons to spend more time in the forest are numerous. And as if the soothing power of nature wasn’t enough, there’s also a lot to discover when it comes to wildlife. Get inspired to get out in the forest with this article!

If it wasn’t already clear to us that getting away from screens, taking our time to recover and connect with nature comes with positive health benefits – it sure is now. With the past years’ lockdowns and isolations, it has become even more evident what great importance and impact fresh air, natural spaces, and wildlife have on us.

As an example, a recent UK study, that investigates how lockdown has changed people’s behavior and what impact nature has had on people’s well-being during isolation, suggests that “shifts in personal behavior and corporate attitudes could mean that the UK, post-lockdown, will value and interact with nature on a much greater scale than before the pandemic.”

In another study from 2019, researchers from the UK and Sweden have shown that people spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature reported better perceived health than others.

In this article, we share some tips on forest-friendly activities.

 

1. Walk around…

Why not move your next evening or weekend walk to the nearest forest? Just being among trees and vegetation, not doing anything in particular, can do the trick after a stressful day or week. In fact, so-called fractal patterns (that is self-repeating, irregular patterns), which are found naturally in e.g. trees and ferns, are said to stimulate the brain and contribute to curing and recovery from stress symptoms.

 

2. Picnic or happy hour 2.0

Pack a basket with all goodies you like, bring a friend or a nice book, find a sunny glade and enjoy your afternoon in the forest. As simple as that! How about introducing the idea to your colleagues, as the happy hour 2.0?

 

3. Identify plants and trees

The fine art of observation is key in this activity. What types of plants, flowers, trees do you come across on your excursion? Observing nature can be fascinating as it is – but if you want to take it to the next level, you can rent a book or consult the internet, to try to identify what you see next time.

 

4. Look for birds and animals

Just as tip number 3 above, this activity is great to do either alone or together with the whole family. Make it a contest! How many types of birds do you encounter? How many squirrels? If you’re lucky, perhaps you’ll catch a glimpse of a fox, or something even more spectacular.

 

5. Camp

Some say that a night in the woods now and then can enhance your quality of sleep. Just make sure to find a place where it’s allowed to camp, and that you have the right equipment, such as warm clothing, a good sleeping bag, and a portable stove for cooking. A nice cup of morning coffee tastes best after a night out in the wild!

 

6. Stargaze

While spending the night in the forest, you might as well do some stargazing. Find an open spot in the forest, make yourself comfortable and look up, with your eyes only or with binoculars. The best time to stargaze is a few days before, during, or shortly after a new moon, when the sky is darkest and the stars easier to see. In the north, in Sweden, you might be able to catch the Northern lights on a clear night.

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