Mental Health Awareness Week
A walk around your local village on a sunny morning, a relaxing bike ride where the soft breeze brushes across your face or just stood outside admiring the blossoming flowers whilst listening to the calling of wildlife. All of which enlightens inner emotions of happiness and peace, and removes stress from your mind.
Nature, a subject I personally am very passionate, but also the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. So, “why is this the theme?”, I hear you ask, well… A connection with the natural world has been proven to help those with their psychological and emotional health. It has been known to improve memory functions and emotional regulation, whilst reducing your blood pressure and improving your mood.
Spending time with nature, taking walks in the forest or taking part in outdoor activities has been found to help everyone’s emotional wellbeing including those suffering from anxiety and depression. Nature gifts many benefits to us, from the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. It simply provides us with the essentials to survive.
Here are 5 positive ways you can include more of nature in your life:
- Walk more
We’ve mentioned it above but to conclude taking a walk with nature really will improve your physical and emotional health
- Write a nature journal/blog
Sitting amongst nature and wildlife, drawing things you see, describing things you hear, expressing how you are feeling and collecting those inner thoughts of our encounters with the outer world
- Invest in some houseplants
If you know me, you know I’ve already invested in this positive way of life, 10 times over! But on a serious note… houseplants aren’t just beautiful to look at, they purify the air we breathe in our homes adding a touch of ambience and reconnecting us to nature without leaving our homes.
- Balance your diet with more natural foods
The strongest connection to nature of all, is undoubtedly the food we eat. Taking more consideration in the food you eat, eating more fruits, vegetables, grains and pulses.
- Break up your working day with some time spent outside
Improving your brain’s cognitive function, freshening up your mind and removing frustration and stress that may have built up within you. A brisk walk to stretch your legs in the middle of the day can give you an instant mood boost to help finish off the rest of the working day.
Mentalhealth.org.uk are encouraging us all, this Mental Health Awareness week (10th – 14th May) to do 3 things:
- Experience nature: take time to recognise and grow your connection with nature during the week. Take a moment to notice and celebrate nature in your daily life. You might be surprised by what you notice!
- Share nature: Take a photo, video or sound recording and share the connections you’ve made during the week, to inspire others. Join the discussion on how you’re connecting with nature by using the hashtags #ConnectWithNature #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
- Talk about nature: use our tips, school packs, research and policy guides to discuss in your family, school, workplace and community how you can help encourage people to find new ways to connect with nature in your local environment.
Written by Daniella Sharman