Wellderness springs from a simple concept – spending time in nature is good for you. Modern life doesn’t allow for connection to nature on an everyday basis – our lives are broadly spent inside: at home, in schools, in offices, in cars. For the most part, access to nature tends to be organised and sanitised. In many cases, it’s via a screen.
We think we could do better. We believe that spending time in nature every day, at every available opportunity, is a means to feeling better.
I’m the founder of Wellderness, Mary, who for a long time, had an inkling that my indoor life was making me miserable.
I spent years behind a desk – studying to get lots of qualifications before working for the man and having an important-sounding title. Even though my job involved clean energy and building a low carbon future, I didn’t see a lot of the nature I was working to protect.
Some days I went into the office before it got bright and stayed until it was dark. I didn’t see the sun. I didn’t see the trees. I had the societal plaudits of “you’ve done well” and a whacking salary but I was a bit of a mess. I was unhealthy and sad, not necessarily in that order. I spent all my time yearning for holidays – up mountains, on the sea, in the desert.
Every holiday I got an inkling of how much better things could be. Wind in face. Sun on skin. I knew there was more to life but I couldn’t quite there for 45 weeks of the year. And I couldn’t quite face the reality that the promised land of the ‘great job’ wasn’t that great at all.
Becoming a parent, I also realised that I didn’t want to see the next generation feel as though a desk job drenched in artificial light was the holy grail. But how do you shift attitudes when from four years old, you sit behind a desk indoors.
Sit, study, sleep, repeat.
Wellderness is my contribution to the stop that happening again. The mission is to get people of all ages outdoors as a means to feel better. For kids, that can be learning in an outdoor setting, playing in the forest, having the freedom to roam and explore all the wonders of natures. For teens, that can be finding connection in nature as a means to get past angst-ridden adolescence and learning to combat stress through time outdoors.
For grown ups (or big kids), that’s making time to get outdoors, using nature as a tool to look after your inner child, connecting to nature as a means to avoid stress and remain mindful of the bigger picture when careers and commitments can seem overwhelming.