Society's News

Corporate Members 2021

3PB Albion Chambers Ashfords Barcan + Kirby Battens Beale & Co BLM Burges Salmon Clarke Willmott CMS CMNO Cooke Painter Ltd Clyde & Co DAC Beachcroft The Family Law Practice Foot Anstey (including Enable Law) Fussell Wright GL Law Guildhall Chambers Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Lyons Davidson Marc White & Co Meade King Osborne Clarke Paragon Costs Solutions Queen Square Chambers … more

BLS features in Bristol Post oldest thriving companies in Bristol

Excerpt from the article: How Bristol’s oldest companies are still thriving after more than 100 years in business They include the city’s last-surviving chocolate maker a wine merchant and a tannery. Why do some companies struggle to survive beyond a year while others flourish for hundreds? Although more than 90 per cent of small companies in Britain will survive one … more

No 12, The Meeting Rooms – Conference, Meeting and Mediation Rooms for Hire

Please note that the BLS office is shut to members at present as we continue to work from home during the pandemic.  Bristol Law Society’s suite of conference and meeting rooms including a suite of mediation rooms are conveniently located in the centre between the Waterfront Area and the Old City in a modern building situated on the corner of … more

Law Care Resources #MHAW 10-16 May 2021

Reclaim your lunchbreak and recharge in nature this Mental Health Awareness Week

10-16 May 2021


 Many of us have lost our connection with nature, spending most of our time indoors, at home, in an office or in a car. Sometimes even having a lunchbreak seems luxurious – most of us bolt food down at our desks so as not to miss a minute of the working day. However as humans we aren’t meant to spend so much time indoors. Our ancestors were hunter-gatherers spending most of their time outdoors amongst trees, by water, studying plants and animals, in all seasons and weather.  Could our health and wellbeing be compromised because we spend less time outdoors? There are many powerful reasons why we should down tools and step outside once a day, so this week try and use your lunchbreak to get outside.

Being outside can help your productivity

We often think we don’t have time to take a proper break during the working day but having a break outside can make all the difference to your productivity and give you perspective on a work issue. Researchers found that time spent in nature can renew our attention spans when they are flagging after a hard day’s work or an extended period staring at a screen – this is known as Attention Restoration Therapy (ART). This is supported by research from the University of Madrid and Norwegian University of Life Sciences that found seeing natural landscapes can speed up recovery from stress or mental fatigue.

 Contact with nature reduces anxiety and stress

Being anxious, stressed or depressed  can mean you don’t want to go outside, preferring to hunker down indoors. Whilst this may be your natural instinct, going outside and being with nature can reduce your anxiety and stress. There is scientific evidence that we feel calmer when we look at trees for example, this is known as biophilia. Forest bathing or Shinrin-Yoku, the Japanese practice of spending time slowly and quietly in forests, is proven to lower the stress hormones of cortisol and adrenalin, suppresses the fight or flight instinct, lowers blood pressure, boosts the immune system, and improves sleep. Not only that but the activity of white blood cells known as natural killer (NK) cells increases when humans spend time in woods. You don’t have to visit a wood or forest every day – these biochemical benefits last for up to a month.

 In addition there is evidence that exercise outside can be more effective than antidepressants for those with mild to moderate depression and research from the University of Exeter showed that the presence of birds in a landscape can help to lift depression. It is also well known that time spent with animals, or gardening has a positive impact on your mental health.

 Time outside can effect the chemical make up of our brain

There are several physiological and neurological changes that take place when we go outside which can boost the happiness chemicals in our brain. Serotonin is a compound that carries signals between nerve cells in our brain and there is link between the levels of serotonin in our brain and our mood. Time spent in the natural world and particularly in sunlight triggers an increase in serotonin. Exploring a new environment outside and foraging, collecting shells, leaves, blackberries, releases dopamine which helps regulate movement, attention, learning, and emotional responses. Cold water swimming is shown to boost serotonin, oxytocin (the love hormone) and endorphins which reduces pain, relieves stress, and enhances pleasure. It also helps to control our fight or flight instinct.

Nature can help you learn mindfulness

Meditation, or mindfulness, is proven to reduce stress, however some find it hard to get to grips with. Nature offers many ways to be mindful without even realising, whether its bird watching in your garden, watching a sunrise or sunset, looking at a bee buzz round a flower, star-gazing at night or listening to the sound of the sea, these are all ways to help you be calm and still and focus on the present moment which can help you maintain good mental health and wellbeing and keep stress at bay.

LawCare provides emotional support to all legal professionals, support staff and their
concerned family members. You can call our confidential helpline on 0800 279 6888, email us at  or access online chat and other resources, including Mental Health Awareness Week materials, at  

 Resources and useful links

Book: Wild Remedy by Emma Mitchell

Book :The Natural Health Service by Isabel Harman

Mental Health Foundation Thriving with Nature

Mind – how nature benefits mental health

Nature for Health and Wellbeing The Wildlife Trusts

RHS: How gardening can help mental health and wellbeing

Natural England

Thrive: the gardening for health charity

Forestry Commission: Forests for Wellbeing

Mindfulness in Law Group