Mind, Body & Soul Columnist, Bernie Petrie tells how spending time in nature is the best medicine…

One thing I discovered when I began living by the sea, is that I always felt better after time out in nature. It was living here that encouraged me to take up running and sea swimming, and both of these have played a huge part in healing my psyche. I also noticed that if I took my children to the beach, they would come alive and play together well. No fights happened in nature!

Simply put, our gremlins don’t live in nature, so any time spent here is less time spent with them. With increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with stress, depression and anxiety, I think one of the key solutions is to spend time in nature. Whether it’s on the beach, in the water, in the woods or up a mountain, there is something powerful about being in a high vibrational environment.

This is why The Barefoot Sanctuary is where it is. The view of North Berwick Law and its proximity to the beach are essential ingredients to creating the sense of well-being that people experience when they walk through the door. The high vibrational healing effects of nature are right there under our noses. 

If just having a view of nature can make such a big difference, how big a difference would full immersion in nature regularly make to your life? Full immersion means dedicating a set period of time outdoors and with the light evenings this is even more achievable.  However, if time is an issue, as little as 10 or 15 minutes a day can, and will, make a huge difference. 

If you are experiencing anxiety or feel overwhelmed, which can be very prevalent for many in what’s affectionately called ‘crazy June’, it’s the best time to lean into nature for a helping hand. And, as East Lothian is home to natural coastlines, hills and woods, each with their own healing properties, what better place to start. 

Ten minutes walking barefoot in the park, paddling at the edge of the shore or simply watering the plants in your garden will do wonders. Being amongst trees is magical – why not let your inhibitions go and have a go at hugging one? You’ll feel your internal system relax almost instantly. If the water appeals, rather than just toe dipping, build in an extra ten minutes and take yourself for a looney dook. That feel-good factor can happen more than once a year and in no time at all you will be grinning from ear to ear.

As someone who has previously experienced depression and anxiety, and works with clients with similar challenges, nature is without doubt a vital part of the healing process. I no longer experience stress or anxiety in the way I used to. And yes, whilst I went through some traditional therapy, without nature and its powerful medicine, life would feel very different. 

So, this summer really let nature play its part with its natural healing processes.

With love until the next time 

45 Melbourne Place, North Berwick | e: bernie@barefootambition.co.uk  | www.thebarefootsanctuary.co.uk