Nature Deficit Disorder

Richard Louv coined the phrase ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ in his book ‘Last Child in the Woods’ in 2005. There is a fear that we are spending much less time in nature, and that this is having a negative effect on our physical and mental health as well as causing behavioural issues in children.

Our bodies are biologically suited to being outside and for being active and if we can’t meet these requirements, it starts to have a negative effect on our well-being.

The solution is rather simple: spend more time outside. Go to the park, or for a walk in the woods. Even a stroll around your neighbourhood, paying attention to the trees and the wildlife or playing in the garden is good for you. My favourite is to run around the woods, playing hide and seek with my kids and generally pretending that I’m a child again

There is also a concern that children don’t understand as much about nature as previous generations and that this is a great detriment to their wellbeing. Unlike previous generations, they are more unlikely to know the names of the trees and plants around them. This also has an impact on our environment. If children aren’t engaged in the natural world, then they are going to be less concerned with trying to protect it. Jim Burt of Natural England points out, “If we want to build a greener, more environmentally sustainable future, then we need to find ways of reconnecting our children to the natural world”.
When I began studying natural skincare, I was amazed at the number of plants that I hadn’t heard of which can have a great impact on health conditions as well as our general well-being. It’s such a shame that all of this knowledge is being lost. I, for one, did not realise that there is actually a Marshmallow plant and that the oil from the roots has great anti-inflammatory properties and boosts cell immunity. I added some to my face serum and am delighted with its impact. Marshmallow might be delicious toasted over a camp fire or in a cup of warming hot chocolate, but as an oil it’s even better!

With my make-your-own skincare kits and parties, I like to explain the origin of the ingredients. Not only does it help create an understanding about the product but it brings us closer to nature and gives us a greater appreciation of its gifts.