Can the great outdoors really help your physical and mental health?

The benefits of being in nature; for both your physical and mental health, are endless and something that can be accessed by all ages. However, knowing how to connect with nature to actively improve your wellbeing might seem daunting at first, but help is at hand! Wild Minds is run by Wife & Wife duo Jodi & Becki Winter, specifically aimed at teaching people how to connect with nature and promote positive mental and physical health, as well as improving how society engage with each other and even helping families to spend more quality time together in the great outdoors.

Wild Minds was created by the duo after Jodi had major surgery to her knee which left her wheelchair bound for a period and having to learn to walk again. As a keen runner, walker, gardener and as someone who is generally happiest outdoors, this had a massively negative impact on her mental health, and it was nature and the outdoors that helped her through it. With almost 20 years of experience as an Environmental Education provider, as well as being a Meditation teacher and Forest Bathing Instructor, Jodi is able to provide a wide range of activities and sessions for both adults and children and can offer support to others in order for them to also access the benefits of nature in the same way she did, and still does, to promote positive wellbeing and mental health for all.

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Wild Minds provide a wide range of nature-based therapies and activities to people living in East Staffordshire, South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire. Their sessions are held in a small section of beautiful, ancient woodland at the magnificent and historic Moira Furnace and are widely received and attended by people from all over. Through Meditation, Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing), Nature Walks and Nature Art Therapy; Wild Minds gives people time to express themselves in nature and take time to connect with the natural world and each other in a positive and symbiotic way. Sessions allow time for everyone to get away from the everyday stresses that life can throw at them and immerse themselves in beautiful surroundings and calming activities. Jodi says, “Often as adults, we feel silly or self-conscious if we stop to do something which perhaps we associate with children or we feel others might judge us on, but finding your inner child is a brilliant way of accessing the full benefits of nature. My wife will tell anyone, that I am a big kid. I am not afraid to make a fool of myself or try new things, however, I can be extremely anti-social and do not like change! I have found working in nature and sharing my experiences and knowledge with others who struggle with forms of anxiety and stress, a wonderful way of supporting others to become comfortable with who they are and learn to take control of their mental health.”

Wild Minds believe that simple activities such as natural art, making mud pies or building a den are easy, free and fun ways to spend longer appreciating nature and reaping the benefits both, physically and mentally, of being in nature. More importantly, such activities are not just reserved for children, but for adults too and for those who want a more reflective and peaceful step into the natural world: woodland meditations, guided woodland walks, night sky twilight walks and talks are all available for people to enjoy with Wild Minds.


During the current pandemic Wild Minds have continued to offer outdoor sessions, where government guidance has allowed, and has been able to adapt its approach and offer online mediation sessions during the lockdown, so that people can still feel like they are part of the woodland and experience what it has to offer in terms of supporting positive mental health and wellbeing, in a safe way.


Wild Minds believe that it is vital that people are able to access the benefits of nature as they are not just mental, but physical as well.  So, if you need some help with your mental health and wellbeing, why not give Wild Minds a try? There is something for everyone and you might be surprised by what you learn both about nature and, more importantly, yourself.

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