It is a well-known fact that nature can boost your wellbeing and, in the Lake District, we have plenty of that to go around! It is literally all around us…
Cases of stress and anxiety among the population are steadily rising, but there are solutions to this new epidemic. Research into how spending time in nature can make you feel better is increasing everyday and it’s being revealed that mindfulness and meditation can greatly benefit you.
If you’re finding that the demands of modern life are becoming too much and you want to find out how you can improve your mental health, then read on for the top things you can do in the Lake District to boost your wellbeing.
Wild water swimming
A fairly recent sensation, the activity of wild water swimming is becoming increasingly popular. Indeed, you’ve probably already heard about it. Maybe you’ve seen it on the news, or maybe you’ve even been watching Wim Hof’s new TV show ‘Freeze Your Fears’.
You’ll be glad to know that this isn’t some new, wacky craze that people are trying. It actually has some amazing health benefits! It can improve your sleep quality, boost your immune system, strengthen your circulatory system and more!
Furthermore, it is incredibly good for your mental health. Regular immersion in cold water can increase your ability to deal with stress, it releases endorphins (often called happy hormones), helps us become more mindful and present, and can boost our confidence and resilience.
We are very lucky here in the Lake District, because we have lots of wild water around us. Whether it’s going swimming in lakes, dipping into tarns or even having a cold shower, why not try some wild water swimming and discover the amazing effects for yourself!
If you want to find out more, read our past blog about the benefits of wild water swimming here.
View this post on Instagram
Hikes with a view
Another thing we have in abundance in the Lakes is mountains! We all know that regular exercise is really good for our physical and mental health, and with so many amazing walks around us, finding a place to get out and into nature isn’t hard.
Not only does the act of hiking up a hill give you an incredible sense of euphoria and strengthen your muscles, but it also helps you reconnect with nature and, more importantly, yourself.
If you find a fell which offers a stunning view on a nice, clear day, we suggest walking up to the top and standing at the summit for a while (weather permitting). Just simply looking out to the horizons and realising how big the world is can do you bundles of good. Sometimes, we can feel closed in by the bustle of the modern world. That’s why taking some space for yourself and finding a quiet place to relax can help you to unwind.
Some of our favourite views are: Cat Bells, with its view over the northern Lakes, the summit of High Street, and the Old Man of Coniston, overlooking Coniston Water and beyond. Of course, these are popular spots, but if you set off early enough, you can grab a good half hour of breathing space before the crowds flock in.
Meditation in the woods
I think we can all agree that the sounds of the forest are incredibly soothing. There’s a reason why so many 19th century Romantics wrote poems about the woods, especially in the Lake District.
Going for a walk and breathing in the aromas of nature is the perfect way to be mindful and present. You can simply watch the world go by and let your mind wander, which is perfect for finding creative inspiration, or you can try some breathing exercises to slow down your heart rate and help yourself relax.
There are plenty of forests to choose from in Cumbria: Whinlatter, Grizedale, Ennerdale… the list goes on. But it doesn’t have to be a massive mountain forest that you go for an amble in. You could visit a small woods or even the closest clump of trees to you. Anywhere you can spend 15-20 minutes taking in the quiet and calm of nature.
Yoga… in the outdoors
Another hobby that is becoming more popular, although it has been around for longer, is yoga. This style of exercise combines mindfulness and movement. As it involves lots of stretching and putting yourself into different positions, it can greatly benefit your body by increasing your strength, flexibility and balance.
The best bit is that this, like wild water swimming, has a positive effect on your mental health. The process of yoga eases you into a relaxed state, which can in turn help you to sleep better. It promotes better self-care and brings you into a more present state, which helps you to manage stress and anxiety in your daily life.
Of course, yoga classes can be great for reducing loneliness and giving you a sense of connection with others. However, if you prefer to do these things alone, the best setting for a yoga session is in the great outdoors. Finding a gorgeous view for yourself to look out at during your workout can help you to feel calm and connected to the present moment.
Reading in nature
Getting lost in a book is the best way to let your mind wander. Reading allows your imagination to grow and transports you to wonderful, new worlds. And being in the calming environment of nature can make it all the more enjoyable.
Whether it’s in your own garden, the park, or local grounds, grabbing a book and finding a bench or stretch of grass to sit down and read can be one of the most relaxing things you do in the day.
Some of the best gardens in the Lake District are at Lowther Castle, Wordsworth Daffodil Gardens, Hope Park (free admission) and Mirehouse and Gardens.
Sometimes we just need to give ourselves a well-earned day-off, and how better to spend it than at the spa!
Our favourite go-to place is the The Falls Spa. Renowned for its 16-metre hydrotherapy pool with underwater bubble loungers and hydromassage neck jets, this spa has so much to offer.
The aroma steam room, herbal sauna and laconium are the perfect places to have a soothing, therapeutic wind-down. Relax in the glass-fronted Finnish sauna before cooling off with the open-air cold drench bucket.
With five treatment rooms available for massages and facials, along with a four person rasul chamber and a champagne bar, you are sure to want to check out our range of spa days for the perfect treat-yourself day!
View this post on Instagram
Having a meal with friends and family
With the demands of work-life being so overwhelming these days, we can often find ourselves losing touch with those around us. But it’s important to stay connected with friends and family, as relationships are so essential to our mental wellbeing.
One of the best ways to spend a family night or a social outing with friends, is to go out for a meal. Sitting down for a relaxed dinner and catching up with your loved ones is such a small act, but can really make a difference to your day. Plus, someone else will be cooking the meal for you and you don’t have to wash up afterwards!
Some of our favourite restaurants include:
- Lake View Restaurant at Inn on the Lake, Glenridding
- Brossen Steakhouse at Inn on the Square, Keswick
- Mizu Pan Asian Restaurant at Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa, Borrowdale
- Brasserie 31 at Skiddaw Hotel, Kewick
Go for a well-earner vacay!
It’s been a long year and you’re wanting to get away for the summer. Why not come to the Lake District?
During the pandemic, the numbers of visitors to the Lakes soared as people started to appreciate the freedom a stay in the Cumbrian countryside can bring. However, this has always been a popular spot for holiday-goers and, even before lockdown, many Brits have preferred to visit the Lake District rather than going abroad.
At Lake District Hotels, we have six fabulous hotels to choose from:
- Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa, Borrowdale
- Inn on the Lake, Glenridding
- Borrowdale Hotel, Borrowdale
- Inn on the Square, Keswick
- Skiddaw Hotel, Keswick
- Kings Arms Hotel, Keswick
Go on, you deserve a treat!
View this post on Instagram