COVID-19 is not just a pandemic that left short or long-term physical effects on those afflicted by the virus. The world has seen a complete transformation in even the most basic actions that used to fuel us into feeling better. Physical affection is frowned upon. Gathering with family members in large numbers is not yet advised.
Amongst all this change, there was one thing that has kept our spirits burning and our mental health thriving – the pleasure of enjoying the outdoors. This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week seeks to celebrate “Nature and the Environment”; a nod to how much the greenery of the countryside and the beauty of the coastline have inspired some serenity in us during such turbulent times.
To celebrate the physical and mental revival nature brings about in each and every one of us, we’re sharing fantastic ideas on how to let the outdoors bring the best in you.
EXPLORE THE BIG BLUE WITH A KAYAK
The sea, with all its majesty, speaks to the soul and tames the worries away. In Malta, we’re truly spoilt for choice in selecting a patch of shallow waters to start the paddling journey. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, kayaking allows you to casually paddle as you discover new coves. Kayak away solo or in small groups – both options will be a fantastic experience.
INDULGE IN SOME ROCK CLIMBING
It takes some skill to master big boulders and small nookies, so always proceed with caution. Make use of full safety measures such as ropes and harnesses to protect you against nasty falls. Rock climbing promises a big rush of adrenaline!
FISH THE DAYS AWAY
Amateur fishermen say that there’s something soothing about finding a good seaside spot, waiting for a lovely catch to come by. On top of that, catching your own meal will inspire a sense of satisfaction – more than picking a fish up from the supermarket!
SEEK THE UNDISCOVERED UNDERWATER WORLD
Float in shallow waters or head for the open sea with some snorkels. Discovering a new habitat will allow you to connect with nature and see first-hand the beauty that the coastline around Malta holds. As you’re allowing the environment to help you feel better, consider helping it back by collecting any harmful materials that you find lurking on the sea bed.
DRIVE TO A QUIET PLACE TO WATCH THE STARS
It takes only half an hour of star-gazing to put you in a calming mood and soothe your troubles. Find a location away from the noise of traffic and crowds. Head to some of Malta’s cliffs to enjoy mesmerising night views, or find an open spot amongst the blooming green terrain. If you want to make truly special occasion of it, prepare a picnic and head to Manoel Island to watch the sunset, then wait around for the stars to make an appearance.
EXERCISE AT THE BEACH
Grab a yoga mat, head to your nearest beach and let the gentle waves soothe your mind whilst you give your body a stretch or two. Once you’re done, enjoy a light stroll or head for a quick swim to wash your worries away.
HEAD OUT FOR A HIKE
Discover what nature truly holds as your pace quickens, to revel in the beauty that surrounds you. Head away from congested roads and pathways accosted with traffic. One location hikers can never get enough of is the Victoria Lines – walls once used to serve as defense against any attackers, crossing the entire island and home to some of the best natural wonders.
What can be better than sitting around a warm campfire and toasting marshmallows? The cities might hold heaps of possibilities, but the serenity a few nights away from technology that keeps us bustling can give a well-needed break.