In dark, cold winter days we may not immediately notice the vast range of colours in nature, in the sky and in our food. But if we take the time to look for them we can build a vivid spectrum of colour in our minds. When we see a rainbow in the sky, we might exclaim “Wow!” Having times in our day like these lifts our mood, increases our energy, motivation and turns a dull grey day into a multi–coloured day!
What we see every day can have a big impact on our mood. Noticing the colours of the rainbow in nature is a good way to be present ‘in the now.’ Looking for different colour leaves, flowers and birds can all help build a picture of a rainbow in your mind.
Consciously noticing the colours in the sky encourages us to look up and note them. We may admire the colours of beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and wonder how the sky can be red, orange, yellow and blue at different times of the day.
Food and colour
Visualising a rainbow might also help you take time to notice the colours in your food. It might also encourage you subconsciously to increase nutrients, vitamins and minerals in your daily intake.
Eating brightly coloured fruit and vegetables – at least 5 a day – can help to lower your risk of depression, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Including a variety of colours will increase your intake of vitamins A, C, D and E. Not to mention antioxidants important for immunity and reducing inflammation internally. Can you notice red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple food on your plate every day? Being mindful of what the colours taste and smell like may help you appreciate what you are eating.
Learn about flowers…
Flowers also have the most amazing variety of colour. Whilst we may not see them all during the winter months, we can learn about them. Learn when to plant them, where they might flourish best, what types or species there are, and the meanings attached to them. We can capture their beauty by taking photos of them in the right season. In the winter months, we can paint them, draw them or colour them in using paints and pens to brighten up a dark day. This can also be a relaxing mindful activity.
Wear bright colours
What we wear affects how we feel. Have you noticed if you wear dark colours and black often? Simply adding a pop of colour – a scarf, hat, gloves, socks, or even underwear – can help lift our mood. The same can be said of the furnishings in our home. Getting active in bright coloured outfits, eating and drinking from coloured crockery can all help keep the rainbow with us every day.
The GAP Project
Our ecotherapy allotments in Dorchester, The GAP Project, has been focusing on helping people build colour into their every day. The facilitators have encouraged us to notice what you see in your foods, nature, the skyline, learn about flowers and nutrition. This has the benefit of improving mental wellbeing. Visit our Facebook page: The GAP Project with Dorset Mind to help inspire you to add colour to your day!
This article was written by our GAP Project Development Coordinator, Sharon Best. Sharon delivers sessions that support local people but building their confidence and self-esteem through gardening at the allotments.
Sharon also writes her own wellbeing blog. If you would like to learn more about the mind and body connection, visit 5minutes2wellness.com