Nature is healing: 3 outdoor activities to get involved in this month
The evenings are getting longer, the weather is getting better and the stretch is getting grander.
After almost two years of spending just about every waking moment at home, we’re all keen to get out and about again. However, as restrictions ease and the world reopens, not everyone will be running back to the club or elbowing their way to the bar. For some, the promise of normality is still a scary concept. We’ve grown accustomed to being apart, so socialising will take some getting used to.
Baby steps amount to big changes though and signing up for one of these outdoor activities will help you find your footing and get yourself back out there again. Not only are they a very enjoyable way to spend a weekend afternoon, but they’re great places to meet new friends too so don’t worry if you plan on going alone.
Here are three outdoor activities to get involved in this month.
Most people will be familiar with The Useless Project by now, but it’s not just sustainable craft fairs they organise and their next event is the perfect opportunity to get you back out in nature.
Teaming up with Sarah from Nature Therapy Ireland to go forest bathing in Phoenix Park, attendees are in for a morning of science-based meditative practices that are guaranteed to leave you feeling grounded and refreshed. According to research, forest bathing has been proven to reduce stress levels, improve heart health, boost your immune system, increase your creativity and quality of life. Not only that, but people who have a strong nature connection are more likely to make more sustainable and planet-friendly lifestyle choices too.
Scheduled to take place next Sunday, February 13, tickets cost €30 but are extremely limited so get yours as soon as possible if you’re interested.
Galz Gone Wild hikes
Set up by Melissa McDermott, Galz Gone Wild reconnects women with nature and the outdoor through group adventures, getaways, workshops and events all across Ireland.
Back in action as of January 23, they have plenty organised for the coming months including hikes, sunrise cacao ceremonies and a specially organised “cherry poppers” meet-up for new members.
How do you join? Simply head to the hike you want to attend on the website and book your spot. Each event has an ability level marked on it so you can choose the one best suited to you (beginner, intermediate, difficult, advanced) and you will even receive a packing list of things to bring usually the week of your adventure. The group also facilitates carpooling via their Facebook page.
Dip & Sip
We all got very into sea swimming over the past two years. There’s a bit of a running joke about the dry robe brigade but they were onto something, and there’s very little that a dunk in the freezing Irish waters won’t help solve.
The phenomenon of sea swimming is nothing new, but something does seem to have changed since the onset of the pandemic. There has been a universal (or at least nationwide) shift in attitude and while once we looked on in horror, now the sight of someone wading out until they’re fully submerged makes us jealous that we’re not out there with them.
For those of you yet to brave a dip – or convince your friends/housemates/partner to join you – Ripple Effect Ireland is a great group to get involved with. They host regular “dip & sip” meet-ups which basically encourage you to go for a dip and then stay for a cuppa after. The next one is scheduled for Sunday, February 13 and they usually happen every fortnight at 9:30 am on Killiney beach. A lovely way to meet some like-minded people.