Adopting Birdwatching as a hobby can be incredible for seniors who want a peaceful and beautiful way to spend their time that connects them with the world around them and can improve their health and wellbeing.
Birds are beautiful creatures that many of us are in awe of. It can be exciting to see a robin in the backyard at the beginning of spring, or a cardinal out on a tree branch in the morning. Seeing birds around reminds us that wildlife and beauty are all around us if we just keep an eye out or take the time to notice.
Birdwatching is an activity that is incredibly accessible for seniors because the only thing required is the desire to look out for some lovely birds and a little time to do so. Whether it be heading out to particular spots to find certain species or just going for a stroll and seeing what birds you stumble upon while out and about, seniors and their loved-ones can use Birdwatching as an opportunity to enjoy their days and improve their wellbeing.
What Makes Birdwatching Great
There are so many things that make Birdwatching an incredible activity for seniors. On a mental, emotional, physical, and interpersonal level. Birdwatching can help seniors to connect to themselves, to others, and to nature. The following are just a few of the ways in which Birdwatching can be a great way for seniors to spend some of their time:
- Exposure to Fresh Air: It is easy in this day and age to spend way too much time inside but Birdwatching gets seniors out of the house and into the fresh air. Spending time breathing in the lovely outdoor air can help to promote better sleep, can make seniors feel calmer, and can be a part of interacting more meaningfully with the world outside of the house.
- Physical Exercise: Getting out to see some birds can involve a lot of walking, hiking, lifting of heavy binoculars, and other movements that keep the body moving and get the heartrate going. The actions involved in Birdwatching can be great for cardiovascular health and can contribute to better overall physical fitness.
- Connection to Nature: Getting outside to spot those birds creates an incredible opportunity for seniors to feel connected to the natural world around them and to soak in all the wonderful sunlight and beauty while looking out for living creatures that inhabit the natural space.
- Time for Reflection: There is something very meditative about Birdwatching that allows for an opportunity to think, reflect, be present, and have some time for introspection. Taking time to focus in and utilize the peace and stillness to think about things that are important and tune into oneself is super valuable.
- Practicing Patience: Birdwatching is a hobby that requires time and patience, because birds aren’t just going to pop up to be seen the second you step outside. Learning to wait for birds to present themselves can be a great exercise in cultivating patience, as can the time that goes into studying and reading about birds and their features so as to be able to identify them.
- Lowered Stress-Levels: Spending time outdoors watching for birds can be a truly calming activity that helps to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress and boost overall mood.
- Travelling: Sometimes, to see a certain bird, you have to go to where they are. Seniors who are truly dedicated to Birdwatching as a valuable activity in their lives can use it as a wonderful motivator to get out and visit new places to follow birds and see new ones.
- Relationship Building: Birdwatching can be a solo activity, but can also be done with friends or in groups of people with a shared interest in taking the time to engage in birding. Taking part in Birdwatching can be a great activity for seniors to do with existing friends and loved-ones, but can also be a great way to become part of a community and forge new connections that can help to keep seniors social and engaged in life outside of the home.
- Acceptance and Presence: The thing about Birdwatching is that it isn’t predictable. Sometimes you will go out and see absolutely nothing. While it can be disappointing to have something not go as planned, learning to accept things as they are and not to get bogged down is an incredible skill that can be transferred and applied to so many other areas of life.
Birdwatching is an activity that can enrich seniors lives in many ways. Whether it be seeing what birds visit your backyard or heading out on a full expedition to see something exciting, seniors can take part in Birdwatching and feel the emotional, physical, mental, and social benefits that it has to offer.