FREEMAN, Elizabeth, ROBINSON, Emma and HARLAND, Kelly (2016). Understanding the power of the "solo". In: Well-Being 2016: Third International Conference Exploring the Multi-Dimensions of Well-Being, Birmingham City University, 5-6 September 2016. (In Press)
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Solitude is a fundamental aspect of wilderness experiences and solo experiences, lasting 5 hours or more, have a strong 'survival' element and are a beneficial component to outdoor therapy programmes, sometimes marking life transitions for people. A shift has been made, however, towards solo experiences that centre on the natural environment rather than 'survival'. Shorter experiences of solitude in wilderness, e.g. quiet time or mini-solos, can offer the most "powerful" form of private reflection and can be self-initiated or prescribed. These 'shorter' solos have not, however, been extensively researched and neither have they been investigated in local green or semi-natural areas. This paper discusses a study that qualitatively explored people's experience, meaning-making and human-environment interaction during a mini-solo in a local green space and identified the impact of the experience on participants' sense of well-being. The mini-solo involved participants spending time in nature without distraction from technology or books and, if possible, people, lasting from 20 minutes to 1 hour. 12 older adults (55-74 years; 8 females and 4 males) recruited from walking groups and six younger adults (19-22 years; 4 females and 2 males) undertook a mini-solo. Pre- and post-experience interviews and journal writing (before, during and after the mini-solo) were analysed using thematic analysis. Four themes were created: ' Exerting Control', 'Aspects of Distraction' and 'Receptivity to Solo Experience'. Findings will be explained in relation to theory, literature and policy and may have implications for 'green prescriptions' as a short-term nature-based solution for well-being. Future directions for research are discussed. Keywords: mini-solo experience, wellbeing.
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)|
|Depositing User:||Hilary Ridgway|
|Date Deposited:||08 Sep 2016 08:52|
|Last Modified:||25 Oct 2016 05:18|
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