Fearne Cotton on the importance of reconnecting, now lockdown is over

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  • As her Happy Place festival returns.

    It’s been a challenging few years for most thanks to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and multiple lonely lockdowns.

    If you’ve been feeling a little down, don’t worry – you’re far from alone. One survey found that 64% thought the stress of the past few years has caused “at least one adverse impact on their mental health and wellbeing.”

    That said, the lockdowns are now – thankfully – over, and thanks to the booster programme, Covid cases are more manageable. As Fearne Cotton, best-selling author, podcast host and presenter points out when we chat, it’s time to reconnect with likeminded people to boost your spirit, lift your mood, and fully thrive again.

    Keep scrolling for her thoughts on the undeniable power of human connection – and don’t miss our guides to reframing negative thoughts, self care ideas, and breathwork training, while you’re here.

    Fearne Cotton: “Human connection is one of the most impactful attributes of our general well-being”

    Summer is en route and for me – and many of you – that’ll mean festivals.

    Whereas once festivals for me were synonymous with hip flasks of vodka and muddy Dr Martins, these days, they’ve taken on a whole new shape and meaning. Not only is my festival-going slightly more subdued these days, but it’s also become a sturdy part of my calendar that I know will bring connection on a deep level.

    In 2019, we held our first-ever Happy Place festival in London and Manchester with over 12,000 people happily meditating, listening to talks and moving their bodies to feel joy. It was a total dream come true.

    I don’t need to go into what the last two years has meant for live events as we can all still feel the isolation and separation from others in our bones.

    Although I’m an out and proud introvert, I absolutely need true connection to feel tethered to what is real and what is not. Human connection is one of the most impactful attributes of our general wellbeing and after two years of being starved of it, we need to get back in groups to converse, laugh and energetically bounce off one another.

    How many of you have zoom fatigue, Netflix burn out, or have simply gotten a bit lazy when it comes to pushing yourself out of your comfort zone?

    I know my hand is up for all three. I’m still emerging from the tracksuit wearing, slipper donning days like a baby mole experiencing daylight for the first time.

    I’m beyond sick of catching my own eye on a zoom call, instead of looking at the person I’m supposed to be talking to. I grimace at my eyes bags and completely lose connection with the other people on the Zoom. I’ve bored myself rigid pretending that watching The Parisian Agency (which, p.s. j’adore) is just as good as seeing actual friends. I’ve gotten that bit too cosy in my hermit-like state and know I need to seek true connection with others.

    We might have just about coped without seeing many people over the last two years but have we thrived? I know how good I feel after the charge of a large group of people so am ready to kick off my slippers and get myself out there.

    All of the above is why I’m buzzing to announce that our Happy Place festival will once again be landing in the South and North so we can meet face to face and feel the energy of a large group of wonderful souls.

    To feel truly connected we need proper eye contact away from a screen, real conversation face to face, and shared experience to feel a part of something.

    These are all factors I’ve been focusing on hugely in the run-up to this year’s live Happy Place festivals. Our aim this year is to help ease the anxiety of people fearing large groups and pivot our attention to the simple yet important practices that make us feel well.

    Whether it’s partaking in group meditations, learning new yoga poses, or trying your hand at mindful movement; talks from wise storytellers or a dabble in some arts and crafts to slow down the mind, I hope you’ll agree that all of these things are so much better done off a screen.

    Come join us in actual real life for eye contact, new experiences and stepping right out of your comfort zone.

    Tickets go on sale today, Friday 6th, from happyplaceofficial.co.uk. The festival will be held at Chiswick House and Gardens on 6th and 7th August, and Tatton Park in Cheshire on 3rd and 4th September.

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