Bird watching brings many benefits, including improved mood and mental health, due in part to lessening of stress, anxiety and depression. Birding can also nourish the senses, sharpen the mind, improve observational skills and increase social interaction. For more benefits, check out my Pinterest board: Therapeutic Birding.
Concerned that you don’t know enough about your local birds to facilitate a birding program? No worries. Enthusiasm and curiosity go much further than expertise when it comes to inspiring nature engagement.
Provide opportunities for your participants to see birds and to share their stories and knowledge with each other, and you’re off to a great start. You can enjoy learning more about your local birds as you go.
Here are 11 simple therapeutic birding activities that you can facilitate:
Which of these 11 birding activities are you excited to offer first?
All photos copyright Shelagh Smith
If you’re immersed in winter weather, or just needing a nature break, take a moment to enjoy the sights and smells of a sunny Australian garden. Find out how visitors know which plants are fun to smell or touch.
Welcome to the Sensory Garden at the Urrbrae House Historic Precinct, University of Adelaide, South Australia. Let's go in!
What if you could choose to temporarily trade your ‘to do’ list and your busy thinking mind for fascination, playful curiosity, and a childlike sense of wonder?
On Monday we begin our shared online journey to noticing nearby nature for self-care. We’re going beyond vibrant sunsets and rainbows to finding wonder in everyday nature. Join us.
Legacy Health in Portland, Oregon is making therapeutic gardens a top priority for reducing staff stress and fatigue and for encouraging staff to take regular breaks in the garden near their unit. Legacy Health's interdisciplinary garden design process and their randomized controlled trials are leading the way for other hospitals.