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A photo of a student looking at the written activities on a tree trunk as part of a mindfulness walk in Burleigh Woods created by PhD students

PhD students create mindfulness walk in Burleigh Woods as part of Doctoral Wellbeing Fortnight

We are consistently told about the benefits of getting outside for fresh air and exercise. But when you’re out on your walks, how present are you?

Photo of a paper activity attached to a tree

Many of us, instead of noticing our immediate surroundings, are caught up in our thoughts, feelings and emotions. To truly benefit from our time outside we must aim to be mindful of our thoughts and feelings, but not let them dominate our headspace.

To help you make the most of nature and to introduce several mindfulness techniques, PhD students Kathrin Burdenski and Ursula Davis have developed a one-hour circular walk through Burleigh Woods as part of Doctoral Wellbeing Fortnight (1-12 March). Staff, students and their families based in the local area are encouraged to take part.

Along the path, you will find signs with activity instructions that are suitable for all ages. The walk is designed not only to immerse yourself in the surrounding nature but also to understand your own wellbeing, and perhaps identify ways to deal with current worries and thoughts.

Ursula finds that implementing mindfulness techniques throughout [her] day has been a key tool in developing [her] resilience”. The duo hopes that the activities, including a breathing exercise and an activity that encourages you to connect with friends, will help you feel the same benefits.

Visitors are asked to be open-minded throughout the walk and engage in the activities so you may reap the benefits.

Kathrin explains: “With this walk, we tried to combine three boosters to our wellbeing: mindfulness, physical activity and nature. We hope people will welcome this opportunity to engage in an offline activity that offers the opportunity to try something new.”

The activity signs displayed across the walk will be up until 21 March. You can enter Burleigh Woods through the main entrance and follow the signs along the footpath; this can be accessed via Nicolson Road, Loughborough.

Please bear in mind the walk can be muddy so wear appropriate footwear. Be respectful of the woodlands around you by sticking to the paths and not disturbing habitats within the woodland. Bring a pen and a piece of paper if you want to take some notes from the activities.

More information about Doctoral Wellbeing Fortnight can be found here.