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Bringing the Outdoors Inside

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Houseplants: to support human health by Royal Horticultural Society

Why Indoor Plants make you feel better by Sophie Lee – Better

How To Grow Herbs Indoors on a Sunny Windowsill by Marie Iannotti – The Spruce

Windowsill veg container ideas by BBC Gardner’s World Magazine

How to grow your own windowsill garden by INHABITAT

How Not To Kill Your Houseplants: An Expert Guide For Green-Fingered Enthusiasts by Sara Spray – HUFFPOST

Start Growing

Starting from Seed: top tips by Women’s Environmental Network

Growing in small spaces during lockdown by Women’s Environmental Network

Balcony Growing by Women’s Environmental Network

Food Growers Resources Hub – Women’s Environmental Network

Podcasts

Eco-Anxiety and The Healing Power of Nature by Deliciously Ella and Lucy Jones

Does our cultural move away from the natural world impact our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being? Does it really change things in our brains, guts and our ability to heal? What does the science say? Our guest is the science journalist Lucy Jones – looking at the most recent studies on our relationship with nature and how it interacts with human biology, neuroscience and psychology, as well the impact of pollution and the concept of eco-anxiety and how our disconnect from nature impacts on climate change.

Eco-therapy on Health Check by the BBC

In this week’s programme Richard Mabey, the man described as “Britain’s greatest living nature writer”, talks to Claudia Hammond about “the lost years” of his depressive illness. The author of Food for Free, Flora Britannica and Nature Cure admits that a symptom of his clinical depression was that he lost his connection with the natural world. Also, mental health professionals join Andy McGeeney in ancient woodland at Thorndon Park in Essex, to learn about eco-therapy – the idea of empathising with the environment to treat mental illness – and Lisa on horticultural therapy. After many years of illness, Lisa, a former mental health nurse, tells Claudia about the part making a garden played in her recovery. And we look at the evidence for “Green Therapy”. Dr Rachel Bragg from the Green Care Research Team at the University of Essex describes the evidence behind nature-based therapies and argues they should be part of a “toolkit” of care for patients.

One to One – Isabel Hardman on nature and depression – BBC Sounds

Isabel Hardman of The Spectator asks whether growing food can improve our mental health. John Kennington or ‘JK’, as he’s known, is a recovering alcoholic. He shares his life story with Isabel at Feed Bristol, a project that reconnects city dwellers with nature, while she explains how she learned to manage her own from being outdoors and growing plants.

Articles

The Seeds of Recovery – Freedom from Torture

‘Every breath we take was given to us by plants’ by Lucy Jones – Penguin Articles

How to enjoy nature during lockdown – even if it’s only out of your window by Alice Vincent – Penguin Articles

11 Ways Plants Enhance Your Mental and Emotional Health by Susan McQuillan M.S., RDN – Psychology Today

Well-being and air purifying: the truth about houseplants – BBC

‘The bliss of a quiet period’: lockdown is a unique chance to study the nature of cities by Phoebe Weston – The Guardian

Nature for Wellbeing – The Wildlife Trusts

Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing – by Matthew P. White, Ian Alcock, James Grellier, Benedict W. Wheeler, Terry Hartig, Sara L. Warber, Angie Bone, Michael H. Depledge and Lora E. Fleming

The Positive Effects Of Nature On Your Mental Well-Being by Madhuleena Roy Chouwdhury, Positive Psychology

Nature and Mental Health – Mind

Eco Therapy

Nature and Mental Health – MIND

Nature and Therapy UK

Books

Losing Eden by Lucy Jones

Today many of us live indoor lives, disconnected from the natural world as never before. And yet nature remains deeply ingrained in our language, culture and consciousness. For centuries, we have acted on an intuitive sense that we need communion with the wild to feel well. Now, in the moment of our great migration away from the rest of nature, more and more scientific evidence is emerging to confirm its place at the heart of our psychological well-being. So what happens, asks acclaimed journalist Lucy Jones, as we lose our bond with the natural world-might we also be losing part of ourselves? Delicately observed and rigorously researched, Losing Eden is an enthralling journey through this new research, exploring how and why connecting with the living world can so drastically affect our health. Travelling from forest schools in East London to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault via primeval woodlands, Californian laboratories and ecotherapists’ couches, Jones takes us to the cutting edge of human biology, neuroscience and psychology, and discovers new ways of understanding our increasingly dysfunctional relationship with the earth. Urgent and uplifting, Losing Eden is a rallying cry for a wilder way of life – for finding asylum in the soil and joy in the trees – which might just help us to save the living planet, as well as ourselves.

Ecotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice by Martin Jordan and Joe Hinds

The idea of using nature to improve mental and emotional wellbeing has existed for many years, in many forms. However, growing levels of interest in holistic, reciprocal relationships with nature have led to the development of an explicit field, termed Ecotherapy. In this thought-provoking new book, Martin Jordan and Joe Hinds provide a comprehensive exploration of this emerging area of practice. Divided into three parts, the book offers a unique examination of a range of theoretical perspectives, unpacks the latest research and provides a wealth of illuminating practice examples, with a number of chapters dedicated to authors’ own first-hand experiences of the positive psychological effects of having contact with nature.

Into the Forest: how trees can help you find health and happiness by Dr Qing Li

What can improve the length and quality of your sleep by over 15%? What can improve your chance of avoiding colds and diseases by over 50%? What can boost your mood better than any prescribed antidepressant? The answer: A walk in the woods. In How Trees Can Help You Find Happiness, Dr. Qing Li presents forest bathing as the practice of spending time in the woods for better health, happiness and a sense of calm. A pillar of Japanese culture for decades, forest bathing (known as Shinrin-Yoku to locals) is a way to reconnect with nature. As one of the world’s leading Immunologists, Dr Qing Li has conducted extensive research which has proved that spending time around trees (such as filling your home with house plants and vaporising essential tree oils) can reduce blood pressure, lower stress, boost your immune system and even help you to lose weight. Along with his years of ground-breaking research, anecdotes on the life-changing power of trees, Dr Li provides a practical approach for you to take up forest bathing.

Forest Therapy: Seasonal Ways to Embrace Nature for a Happier You by Sarah Ivens

We all know we should get outside more. Who hasn’t felt better after a walk in the woods, an alfresco picnic or a swim in the sea? But from the Japanese trend for shinrin yoku (forest bathing) to the Scandinavian philosophy of friluftsliv (open air life), people everywhere are waking up to the fact that spending time in nature has more benefits than you might have thought possible. In Forest Therapy, you will learn how the natural world can help us to be calmer, happier, more energised and even give our immune systems a boost. From a simple walk in the woods or countryside couple’s therapy, to DIY natural beauty products and tips on how to bring the outdoors to your home, Forest Therapy provides seasonal ideas to help you reconnect with nature. There’s something in this book for everyone, not just outdoorsy types, whether you’re a stressed-out urban professional or a weary parent dealing with cooped-up kids.In Forest Therapy, Sarah Ivens helps you to live your most unforgettable, fabulous alfresco life.

The Natural Health Service: what the great outdoors can do for your mind by Isabel Hardman

The bestselling author and award-winning journalist investigates how nature and exercise can boost mental well-being.