Finding the little joys in life: Emma Palmer on the 5 Days 5 Ways Challenge
Be Active | Take Notice | Connect | Give
I like to be outdoors and be active, notice the beautiful countryside, connect with friends and with nature. Even on the days when my head is telling me how much nicer it would be to just stay in bed, I always feel better for getting outdoors, I’ve come to think of it as investing in myself – the housework can wait!
Stemming from my love for the environment, I volunteer for Stump Up for Trees, a charity that aims to plant millions of trees in the area to help combat climate change and loss of habitat for wildlife. It’s my way of giving back to the community and to the environment. Also, it enables me to be active by walking the hills, connect with different people, learn about the environment and it also gives me a lot of time to notice the beauty of the landscape around me.
Be Active | Take Notice | Connect | Keep Learning
As well as walking, I also like getting out on my bike and have connected with other cyclists too. However, I am often the one at the back of the group, as I like to take the time to notice the wildlife. I try to identify everything I see and learn more about them. Sometimes they’re just as curious as I am, like the horses pictured below! I always keep an eye out for any animals that may have been injured, sadly they are often past saving but sometimes they can be rescued. I noticed this little blue tit lying upside down on the road, I assume it must have been hit by a car. I picked it up and kept it warm until I was sure it was safe to fly off again. It really is the most wonderful feeling when that happens.
If I’m unable to get out into the countryside, I like to exercise in my own home and my cat is always keen to show me how it’s done! I’ve found it’s easier to give her a mat of her own rather than try to share mine!
Connect | Give
Working from home means answering the door to cold callers occasionally, and recently this man came to my door looking for donations for a dog shelter charity. As well as sponsoring a dog, I took his picture and shared it across my social media channels to help increase support in the local community. It felt good to do that, not only to support a worthwhile cause, but also to help the volunteer out as cold calling and fund raising is hard work.
Be Active | Take Notice | Connect | Keep Learning | Give
I’m very lucky to have my garden, I’ve found it’s very important for my wellbeing, and it keeps me physically active and helps me stay fit. There is always so much to learn about my garden, from plant names, to how to create wildlife habitats, growing vegetables and how to garden sustainably, it’s a constant education! I’ve become very invested in making my garden a habitat for wildlife. I’ve put up several bird boxes, including one in my apple tree. I’ve dug a pond, installed a bee house and even built a hedgehog home!
I get so much from gardening, the daily joy of tending to plants and wildlife, giving nature a home and then being able to watch wildlife thrive in the space I’ve created is a real pleasure. I make sure to take notice of all the creatures I can spot, so far we’ve seen, frogs, bats, hedgehogs, bees, butterflies, and so many more insects! The hedges are constantly filled with birds, and it’s always exciting to see birds of prey and owls when they come to visit.
I’ve also started growing vegetables, which I share with my family, friends and neighbours, and of course, the wildlife! The apple tree always has a bumper crop and I set them out on my garden wall for any passer-by to help themselves to.
My garden is my favourite place to stop for a while and take notice. It changes every day, the taste of the home grown produce, the beautiful sights, the sounds and the delicious smells of the garden bring me so much pleasure. It may only be a small back garden, but it means the world to me and the wildlife.
Do you want to improve your mental wellbeing? Join in the #5Days5Ways Challenge now and use these evidence based 5 ways to improve your wellbeing!
Follow us on social media
For wellbeing tips and resources, head over to our social media channels and learn more!