How to become a little bit more ‘Rewild’

At Tree Tents our motivation is to create amazing structures that deliver breath-taking experiences and inspire a closer connection to our woodlands and wild places. Connecting with nature has been proven to have significant health benefits, not to mention the planet needs us humans to wake up and save the natural world before it is too late.

So what is Rewilding/Rewilding Humans?

Does this mean going back to the days of hunting and gathering while living in caves and trees? For those of you who are about to start donning the fashionable animal skin pelts and sharpening your flint, let me just stop you for a moment.

Rewilding humans is aimed at us modern day domesticated humans, to help remove our tight ‘leashes’ of the everyday grind and get back to nature. This has become even more important after a very long and ongoing period of restrictions and lockdowns that has kept us out of nature in some parts of the country. This has also brought about an awakening of how much we really appreciate the great outdoors and the true impact nature has on our wellbeing.

Rewilding is a way to help restore the ecosystems lost due to human involvement. The aim is to repair the balance between human and nature. By doing this we can become much more fulfilled and find life better and more exciting.  We can realise our full human potential while protecting our natural environment and by rewilding we can remind ourselves of what to prioritise in terms of getting back to our natural state.

So what can you do to become more ‘rewild’ and enhance your connection with nature even during a pandemic? 

Here are some small steps you can do at home or out and about, when we are allowed to, with no drastic changes needed… no stylish pelts or living in caves (unless you really want to…we are not fashion advisors after all…)

Try going barefoot, get those toes out!

Being barefoot not only directly connects us to nature but did you know it also restores our electron reserve. This means walking barefoot or ‘earthing’ could benefit your health by increasing antioxidants, reducing inflammation, and improving sleep. It has been proven that taking 30 minutes out of your day to walk barefoot can considerably reduce stress levels. The ideal surface is a natural one, take some time, whether it is for 5 minutes or an hour, enjoy getting outside and really feel the ground beneath your feet, even the muddy parts.

 Reduce blue screen time

Blue light is produced by screens, whether it be from your phone or computer, and this can affect your sleep. This is due to the light disrupting the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the body’s sleep cycle. Natural light is really important so make sure you get your daily dose! Try waking up and heading outside when the sunrises, get back into the pattern of following the rise and setting of the sun and not using artificial light which is a very recent development on the timeline of human existence.

Have cold showers

Horrifying concept no? But I am not making this up, it is proven that having a cold shower or submerging yourself in a cold bath is good for you! Our ancestors had to endure the cold and exposing our bodies to cold water can benefit our mood, stress levels and our immune, cardiovascular and lymphatic systems. Wild swimming is a great combination of being submerged into cold water and feeling connected to nature at the same time. But if you don’t have any wild swimming spots near you then get those taps running instead! Remember to ease yourself into the process by slowly dropping the temperature of the water and soon you won’t be gritting those teeth (hopefully…).

Bring nature home, get a house plant 

Maybe if you can’t get out and enjoy nature, why not bring it inside and plant up your life instead? There are many benefits of bringing a bit of greenery into the home which includes boosting your mood, productivity, concentration and creativity. This can then help to reduce your stress and fatigue. It also makes your space more welcoming and less sterile. It is a really easy change that can have a big impact on your living space. Question is whether you invest in one small plant or create an entire jungle?

Move your body and avoid sitting all day

Our ancestors moved far more than we do today, including being outdoors for longer periods of time. We can get lost while sitting in front of screens. Even when we are exercising in the gym, we are still creating a barrier between us and the great outdoors. Exercising or even just moving about outside has many benefits for our wellbeing by bringing us closer to nature and feeling more free. Try to remind yourself to take a break from sitting and stand up, do a lap of the room, garden, park… anywhere to stretch those legs and feel your body move and relax. This beautifully leads into our next point…

Lastly, Increase your exposure to nature (when we can)

Nature is out there, always has been, so why not make the most of it and reap the many benefits? Take a long walk in the woods, immerse yourself back into nature and escape from the rush of the modern world. Slowing down and really enjoying the benefits that come from being exposed to nature is one of the easiest and most effective ways to become that little bit more rewild. Perhaps try foraging or waking up early to listen to the dawn chorus? It’s all there, it’s all free and all helps to rediscover our curiosity of the outdoors! It might be trickier for us to get out into nature properly during the current lockdown but remember that when we are able to travel, take time to really experience what mother nature has to offer us.

For example a survey that used data from a Natural England survey, the world’s largest study collecting data on people’s weekly contact with the natural world, has found that a two-hour “dose” of nature a week significantly boosts health and wellbeing, even if you simply sit and enjoy the peace.

All of these simple changes (some we can even do without travelling) can potentially have a massive impact on our wellbeing, which has got to be positive during these strange times. 

And fine, go on then, you can get back to sharpening your flint and checking out the latest animal skin pelt trends.