It looks like you're using an old web browser that we no longer support, so some parts of the site may not work as well as they should and you won't be able to make a booking. Please update your browser (view more details) to make sure you get the best experience.

×

We're sorry, earlier versions of Internet Explorer have become too unsafe to use, and we can not allow them access to the secure part of our website. We highly recommend switching to a much more secure & modern browser such as the latest versions of any of the following, Opera, Safari (Apple users),  FirefoxChrome, Internet Explorer (11 or above).

Menu
Five ways to stay wild in the great indoors

Five ways to stay wild in the great indoors

Over the years, science has proven what we’ve experienced first hand and learnt from so many of our guests - that nature is great for your health. As we all start to feel a bit like caged animals (and the animals flaunt their new-found freedom), we thought we’d bring you a few scientifically solid tips on staying calm, happy and wild while in lockdown.

1. Wake up to the outdoors

wake-up

What

Try letting daylight guide you. Leave the curtains open and wake up with sunshine, birdsong and strangers peering in if you’re on the ground floor. Consider winding your day down in the evening as the sun sets as well. 

Why

When you wake up to the break of a new day, the brain releases a burst of cortisol in what’s known as the Cortisol Awakening Response. The prepares the grey matter for action by releasing stores of energy and getting the muscles going. Natural light increases this burst of cortisol, meaning you’re brighter, more active and ready to fill your day with counting loo roll and looking for the missing jigsaw pieces.

2. Rediscovering old joys

What

Now is the perfect time to rediscover that hobby you always meant to pursue, but never quite got round to mastering. Drag the easel out of the cupboard, restring that harp, take over the lounge with your brewing kit. This time, you will totally stick to it.

Why

Doing something new and creative is clinically proven to be good for you. A hobby stimulates the area of your brain (the nucleus accumbens and septal zone if you must know) that is in charge of producing feelings, thoughts and your outlook on life. As the saying mysteriously doesn’t go, “happy nucleus accumbens, happy life”. Researchers have also shown that a pastime increases focus, memory power and decreases stress. Now... where’s that yeast...

3. Forest bathing

etienne-delorieux-oLbFi_xNi1c-unsplash

What

If you’re lucky enough to have a nearby park or wooded area, then remember how much good some Shinrin Yoku (Japanese for forest bathing) can do you. If you’re left only pining for the pines, then maybe this video can help you mimic the effect. Try and block out as much other sound as you can, then lie back and bathe.

Why

Japanese and Korean research has demonstrated that even as little as 15 minutes spent among trees can lower cortisol levels and boost the immune system, reducing anxiety, depression, sleeplessness and stress. This is tied to something known as “soft-fascination” which is a positive, calming effect that the movement of trees has on our brains.

4. Mixing it up

What

When you do get your daily bit of outdoors, mix up your routes. Explore parts of town or your local area that you’ve never seen and walk in big loops to keep your distance from a whole new set of people. Thanks to kids across the country, you can also play Count the Rainbows or do a Bear Hunt while you walk, as colourful curves and teddies are popping up in windows everywhere.

Why

Breaking routine and enforcing variation can enhance your creativity and productivity by forcing yourself to think a bit more. After all, if you imagine the brain as a muscle, it’s going to need stretching as much as your cooped up legs. You might come back from a wander with a great new plan for explaining Zoom to your parents.

5. Switching off

switchoff

What

As much as it’s tempting to succumb to screens to pass the time (damn you Netflix), turn off all the tech and take your entertainment down a technological peg or two. Swap the blue glow of your phone for soft yellow lighting and apps for board games or books. This will help you wind down in the evening and get a better night’s sleep.

Why

Electronic light tricks the brain into thinking that it’s still daytime, stemming the production of melatonin; a chemical which helps regulate sleep, improves our immune system and reduces fatigue. Right now, when we all need our energy and morale at their highest, proper sleep is more important than ever.