What do You Enjoy Doing Outside to Engage in Self-care?

Disclaimer – Last time I checked I do not have cows roaming around freely in my little garden!

I really like this act of self-care from Action for Happiness Org’s November calendar.  Spending time outside was something I relished during winter, when the weather permitted which coincided with Lockdown2.0 in Melbourne. I know I am fortunate and grateful to have a little back garden where whilst I’m working from home I can retreat to, escaping briefly from the home office.

Are you finding that you are all ‘zoomed out’ and feeling fatigued? I know I am totally all ‘zoomed out’ and need down time from the screen.

I was spending far too many hours in front of the computer, and not getting outside enough due to only permitted 1 hour outside for exercise, which resulted in part with developing low iron and vitamin D levels by the middle of September. One of my little pleasures during early spring and whilst still in Lockdown, was to be able to escape to my back garden and lay out a picnic blanket whilst either just relaxing or studying for my course assignments, whilst engaging in a little bit of sunbathing. Although most times, I was still rugged up in winter clothes, it was still lovely to feel a bit of the sun’s warmth on my skin.

Recently I was surprised to find all of this fruit growing on the cherry, nectarine, pear and Sicilian lemon tree, it was like they had appeared overnight (or maybe I had just been spending too much time in front of the screen?). I was even more excited as some was actually growing at gnome height this year, and should be easy to pick when ripe.  I thought what a great way to work collaboratively would be for me, to cover the bottom part of the fruit trees with nets and leave the top half for the local wildlife to nibble on. I had Last year I managed to get one pear and all the lemons (for some reasons the birds don’t like lemons), which I didn’t mind as food sources for wildlife was scarce as a result of the bushfires.

How delicious do these cherries look growing in the garden?

Perfect alternate solution to an ongoing annual problem. Or so I thought….

Unfortunately, the birds have had a different attitude to the sharing of the produce. I went outside a couple of days later to see that before I had time to put the nets up, they had eaten the fruit off all but one cherry, but kindly left the stone hanging from the stalk whilst still attached to the tree. I now have bizarre eaten cherry tree ornaments hanging out of gnome reach.

Bizarre tree ornaments – aka the remains of the cherries

Where ever you are, I hope you can find some time on a regular basis even if it is only 10 minutes, to get outside and being mindful of COVID-19 restrictions, and do something playful, perhaps engaging your inner child – we all know that person who would hop on their child’s long board to show what a ‘cool’ parent they are. For me, I will always be known as ‘this is Aunty Jenn – she is the “fun” aunt’. In challenging times like this, I believe it is really important to not lose that playful/fun side of your personality. It helped me get through lockdown, despite everything that was going on.

Sending my thoughts and well wishes from Melbourne to everyone who is currently experiencing lockdown or being severely impacted by COVID-19 in some way.

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