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Reconnecting With Nature During the Canadian Winter

Reconnecting With Nature During the Canadian Winter

Published by Programme B

Winter in Canada can feel never-ending. Dark nights, frost-nipped fingers on morning commutes, and the seemingly constant snow shovelling responsibilities can take their toll, especially if you’re prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD). 

Unless you’re one of the one million snowbirds who flee during the cold, your only real option is to embrace the season and take it as an opportunity to reconnect with nature — which has a myriad of physical and mental benefits.

Never underestimate the importance of spending time in natural settings. According to Lisa Nisbet, Ph.D., a psychologist at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, “There is mounting evidence, from dozens and dozens of researchers, that nature has benefits for both physical and psychological human well­being.”

Consider some of the most notable positive impacts of spending time outdoors in the winter.

Nature Can Boost Positive Emotion

According to the Mental Health Foundation, “Nature can generate many positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, and creativity and can facilitate concentration.”

The wintertime can feel stressful for many of us. The start of a new year might make us question our current careers, living situations or even our social connections. The holidays themselves can leave people feeling fraught and a little depleted. 

Spending time in nature offers the opportunity to embrace calmness and relaxation without social obligation or frantic activity, and a great way to do this is to rent out a winter cottage.

Finding winter accommodations is especially easy online, especially if you use a site that aggregates and narrows down cottages based on their seasonality. When you are looking at cottage rentals from, for one, all you need to do is visit the winter cottages page to see all cottages that are available all season long. If you’re looking for a cottage specifically to embrace nature, the team will also be happy to assist, as matches renters with cottages to ensure you get the absolute most from your stay. 

Reduced Anxiety Levels

In the same study by the Mental Health Foundation, researchers found that levels of anxiety might be reduced when we’re situated in nature. 

Other studies have shown that when those who suffer from anxiety merely watch a video of nature with a diverse array of flora and fauna, they report feeling happier and more energetic compared to those who were shown videos featuring less biodiversity. 

If benefits happen even through video screens, imagine how anxiety might be reduced by being fully immersed in a winter forest!

Getting Outdoors Can Help Those Living With Depression

Connecting with nature can help with mental health challenges like depression. According to the charitable organization, “research into ecotherapy (a type of formal treatment which involves doing activities outside in nature) has shown it can help with mild to moderate depression.”

Physical Health Benefits 

The end of 2020 saw the launch of PaRx, which means that participating licensed healthcare professionals can prescribe Adult Parks Canada Discovery Passes as a holistic treatment to their patients. 

Dr. Melissa Lem, a family physician and Director of PaRx, has the following to say: “There’s a strong body of evidence on the health benefits of nature time, from better immune function and life expectancy to reduced risk of heart disease, depression and anxiety, and I’m excited to see those benefits increase through this new collaboration.”

To Conclude

Whether you’re located by a forest, you have the ability to take a vacation to a cottage surrounded by nature, or if you simply take a stroll in a city park, take some time to get outdoors. 

Deeply immersing yourself in nature not only has mental and physical health perks, but it might just change your mind about Canadian winters for good!

Credit: Anastasiya Gepp Via: Pexels