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FOUR ways you can embrace Forest Therapy

In our increasingly online world, for many of us getting into green space is not a top priority. A staggering 6.1 million people in the U.K. are without access to green space within 10 minutes of their home, and only 6% of green spaces are legally protected.  (

Yet, research shows us time and time again that accessing greenspace is an essential part of sustaining positive mental health and well-being. So let’s discuss five easy ways to begin implementing greenspace into your life today.

Ruth Micallef reading in nature

Keep it Simple

I think toxic wellness culture regularly puts us in a frenzy about how to achieve the ‘perfect’ form of self-care. But when it comes to getting into green space, simple really is best!

Try not to complicate your time in green space; firstly, your green space can be anything from your local public park or wooded area all the way through to a big adventurous day out. What we are looking for is “daily-ish”, not Instagram perfection! Simply allowing yourself to walk in nature boosts your cognitive functioning, reduces stress, and even reduces psychological stress. Not to mention, it can give us a wonderful boost of Vitamin D! By keeping things simple, we reduce our stress before we even begin our time in green space. Because by trying to create the ‘perfect’ self-care time, we take away from one of the pillars of self-care - a sense of calm and mindfulness!

Ruth Micallef picking flowers

Switch Off

There is nothing more distracting than the little piece of technology in your pocket. Smartphones have been designed to keep us dopamine chasing the next ‘notification’ on your screen, which so quickly and easily spirals into a doom-scrolling session. So I know it seems daunting, but switching your phone off is one of the EASIEST ways to reboot your concentration span for your time in green space. When was the last time you had a walk without a podcast or playlist in your ears? When did you last hear the birds chirping, the rain falling on to the leaves, the crackle of wildlife in the undergrowth? Allow yourself to become fully immersed in the nature around you, even just for 15 minutes, without any distractions; you never know what you may see or hear.

Ruth Micallef in a forest

Dressing for the Season

Now, if you live in a temperamental climate like me, getting out on a grey day may feel less than appealing… However, as my sons wise Forest Kindergarten teachers remind us, 

“There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices!”.

How right they are!

My favourite fabrics to wear all year round are cotton and linen. Both natural fabrics have wonderful durability and help us regulate our body temperature wonderfully - no matter the season! This beautiful ‘Ophelia’ Dress from Son de Flor is perfect for the spring and summer here in Scotland. Crafted sustainably and ethically by their incredible team, you can tell it’s a female-owned brand by the pockets in this gorgeous dress, ready to store anything from a little snack to treasures you find on your nature adventures.

They stock dreamy linen dresses for all tastes and all seasons, so I highly recommend checking them out!

A big thank you to the wonderful team at Son de Flor for supporting my mission here at Eating Disorders Edinburgh!

Ruth Micallef in a garden


When was the last time you focused on your breath? No, don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to get in a 30-minute silent meditation session! But I will ask you, how is your breath as you explore nature? Is it fast? Slow? Is it deep, or shallow? Often our breath can be a huge reflection of our mental state. When we feel calm and at peace, our breathing feels regulated. But if we are in a state of ‘fight, flight, or fawn’ our heart rate and blood pressure increase, making our breathing fast and shallow, creating a sensation of being ‘out of control’, or even creating a panic attack. Similarly, if we are in a state of ‘freeze’, our heart rate and blood pressure drop dramatically, which can make our breathing slow and shallow, making us feel fatigued or lethargic. Take time whilst in nature to tap into your breathing pattern to explore what your body might be trying to tell you.

Ruth Micallef in a garden

Most importantly, have fun!

Nature and green space are such incredible environments to immerse yourself in, and on my own adventures alone and with my family, we have found everything from a peacefully sleeping fox, to an old fallen nest, some rare wildflowers, and even a badger skull!

If you would like to learn more about Forest Therapy, I highly recommend Sarah Ivens beautiful book on the subject. Enjoy your green space!

Ruth Micallef reading

This blog post is published in collaboration with Son de Flor.
The dress pictured was gifted as part of this collaboration. By purchasing from Son de Flor using the links in this blog post, you will be financially supporting me as a professional so that I can continue to create content online.
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