“If I’m hiking & taking photos, nothing else matters”
Photographer Beth Squire teamed up with Berghaus for its #TimeToGetOut campaign – capturing shots in the Lake District fells to help spread the message of the emotional benefits of time spent outdoors.
“I feel very calm in nature – free from everything, without boundaries or restrictions – and this mindset allows me to forget everyday pressures. It also helps me focus on what’s really important in life, like building strong healthy relationships, finding a work/life balance and not getting too wrapped up in the day to day stresses.
I went through years of thinking I had to become a certain type of person, ticking off certain life goals that everyone had, and it took me a while to realise that I didn’t have to want the same things as everyone else. I’m a big advocate for doing what you’re passionate about, and that’s what a love for photography and the outdoors has allowed me to do. I spent years doing jobs I wasn’t really interested in, just to be able to fund trips, and that really helped me appreciate being able to travel and see the world.
I am definitely guilty of checking social media and comparing my life to others, feeling like I’m not doing enough or I’m not good enough. It’s only when I get outside, whether it be for a day or a week, that I feel refreshed and grounded, because I’m not allowing myself that time to compare my life to everyone else’s, I’m just enjoying who and what is around me and there is no better feeling.
About 10 years ago I was diagnosed with ME and at the time it hit me hard. I was sleeping pretty much all day, because I didn’t even have the energy to get out of bed. This lasted for about a month. I slowly started to feel better and the one thing that really gave me energy and made me feel normal again was nature. I walked up hills, very small hills to begin with but hills none the less. I breathed in the fresh air and felt normal again, and it was around that time that I realised how important getting outside was for my physical and mental health. I think we all put a lot of effort into looking after our physical health, but forget to take care of what’s going on inside our heads, and for me that’s the most important thing. So now I make sure to schedule in time for myself, where I’m out in the wilderness, allowing myself to process everything that’s going on.
Hiking in nature, whether it be on my own, with friends or family, allows me to completely shut off, to be present and enjoy the silence, which is very difficult in everyday life but is very necessary. Photographing my adventures is not only for me to be able to look back on those memories in years to come, but also to try to show people the beauty in the world, and to encourage them to go out and see it for themselves. There’s something very therapeutic and refreshing about going outside and taking photos, where there’s just nature, my camera and me. When I’m photographing landscapes I feel like I belong there. Whatever stresses or worries I have, I know if I’m out hiking and taking photos nothing else matters.”
WIN A BERGHAUS JACKET!
is offering a Ridgemaster Vented jacket worth £200 to one lucky winner this month. Perfect for year-round walking, it’s made from 2L waterproof Gore-Tex fabric, has underarm pit zips that prevent you from overheating, and comes in men’s and women’s versions.