Helena Vestergaard

How Helena finds her ‘natural reset’ moments

We’re thrilled to welcome our very first contributor to Minding Nature, Koala Eco’s new, regular thread where we talk to inspiring people we believe genuinely live and breathe a nature-focused lifestyle, and who can perhaps inspire us to do the same.

Meet model and mum of two Helena Vestergaard, whom we love and admire for her wise and grounded outlook on mental health, parenthood and the environment.

What’s your favourite thing to do in nature?

My absolute favourite thing to do is surf. There is no better feeling than being out in the elements, immersed in the powerful unpredictable ocean. It always manages to give me that reset, and helps to ground me by reminding me that I am only a drop in an ocean.

Describe your connection to nature: what positives does it bring to your life? 

I always feel a very strong connection, and I feel it’s greater than any one thing or person. Nature brings positives into my life everyday, whether it’s picking flowers with my children, watching bugs and birds do their thing, swimming under the waves and feeling the eerie calm underwater, or climbing a beautiful grandmother tree by the lake. Nothing can bring you more natural joy or peace then actually immersing yourself in the natural world.

What are your fondest memories of spending time in nature?

I have so many memories it’s hard to choose, but I think the times nature has helped me most in my life has been hiking in the mountains in Los Angeles when I needed that city escape. Also, camping and bush trekking with my family as a little girl. And running out the front of our house to jump in the ocean when I needed that mental reset.

Many of us are time-poor, and might not get out into nature as much as we’d like. Any suggestions for a quick nature-based pick-me up? Something sensory, experiential…? 

There is a practice called object meditation, where you find something—anything natural—and sit down and stare at it. You concentrate only on this one small thing you are looking at, analysing every single microscopic detail it has, no other thoughts in your head. After a while you actually start to become the object you are meditating on. It works best if it’s a small flower or a stick or a feather or bug, anything small and from nature. I think if you are stuck somewhere where you cannot be among trees or in a body of water, then this practice can really help ground you and give you that essential reset that nature so naturally does.