Here at Wavehunters outdoors is our thing. We don’t do desk jobs. Our business is built around the idea of ‘getting out there’ and sharing the North Coast with our customers. The physical benefits of being active in the outdoors and nature are of course obvious, however we are all becoming much more aware of the mental health benefits of being in nature.
This week is Mental Health Awareness week and this year, with the theme focusing on the benefits of nature on our mental wellbeing, we’ve highlighted 4 ways you can give your mind some much needed nature bathing.
1. Wildlife Spotting Boat Trip
Being in, on or beside water has been proven to improve one’s mood and mental wellbeing. We are pretty happy most of the time so it must be true! Getting out into the sea and exploring the marine life that lives in the waters and off and on our coastline, brings a new perspective on life. Our boat trips will allow you to really get close to nature in a way never experienced before. We regularly see dolphins, whales and puffins in the spring and summer and marvel at their grace and beauty. Man’s relationship with the natural world is a delicate one, however by seeing these magnificent creatures in their own environment we, along with our customers, reach a deeper understanding of the importance of preserving their habitats. If you need further convincing of the beauty of life and nature then a boat trip is for you. You’ll disembark feeling lighter, energised and inspired.
2. Coastpath Ramble
There is probably no better way to get away from it all in Cornwall than with a coast path walk. There is 296 miles of coast path in Cornwall to explore. The route takes you through sleepy villages, along high sea cliffs and across white sandy beaches. The north Cornwall section is remote and rugged, but the landscape is alive with flora and fauna, and echoes with the myths and legends of its past. Highlights include seal spotting in sleepy coves, climbing the iconic twin headland of the rumps and of course the beaches surrounding Padstow and Polzeath are worthy of a decent picnic and sea swim in the warmer months. We recommend picking up some delicious lunch from Fees food to enjoy in the sunshine. Don’t forget too the Wavehunter’s water taxi can take you across the Camel river between Padstow and Rock on your return in the evening, so you really can leave your car at home.
Being active in nature is a proven way to improve mental health, including your cognitive function, memory, and stress management. But these effects are even greater if the physical activity is in the presence of water. That is where surfing comes in. Surfing is more than just catching a few waves. When we surf, we are using our physical and mental stamina in an ever changing and challenging environment. Surfing requires commitment in order to minimise the risk of falling off the board, but the reward is the joy of riding waves. It is this which helps to engage the prefrontal cortex in our brains and dopamine production, which in turn helps us to feel good. The more someone experiences the feeling of joy, the easier it is for their bodies to produce dopamine, which helps to lift mood in every day life. Surfing therapy is a growing global movement, and you can find out more about it here
If you fancy giving surfing a go to help lift your mood, get in touch! We run lessons daily and cater for all abilities and ages. Surfing is more than just catching waves.
4. Beach Yoga
If you haven’t practised yoga outdoors, you are missing something special. Practicing yoga outdoors combines exercise, releasing natural mood boosters (endorphins) and the natural world. The two work incredibly well together, improving your sense of self. From feeling more confident and happier to carefree and open, outdoors yoga can really benefit your mental health. Practising yoga on the beach takes to another however, the sound of the ocean, the breeze and fresh air combined with the feeling of the soft sand beneath your feet, really help to ground you and align you with nature. If you’re interested in some beach yoga, we hold classes most mornings at the weekend and during the school holidays.