Mental Health Awareness Week 2021
Mental Health is a topic that concerns us all, from family to work colleagues to fellow students, encouraging and supporting positive mental health is of great benefit to all ages and all walks of life. This week, 10th – 16th May is Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and the theme is ‘Nature.’
There is a lot of good research that highlights the importance of nature and how it can play a role in protecting and supporting our mental health. The Mental Health Foundation has come up with some suggestions on how we can all connect with nature on a daily basis…
+ Find nature wherever you are, it might be a garden, a local park, woodland, a nearby beach or countryside. Even in cities you can find community gardens, parks and riversides. Take time to explore.
+ Take time to reflect in nature, sit still and use all your senses. Listen for birdsong, watch the butterflies and bees, smell the flowers, notice the clouds, get some light on your skin. All these good things can help you find calmness and joy.
+ Take a walk in nature. Meet friends or family outside – go for a walk in green or blue spaces. Breathe in the fresh air and exercise outside.
+ Bring nature to you. Sometimes it is difficult to get outside so bring some nature indoors or on your window or balcony. Grow plants and flowers, herbs are easy and can be used in your cooking. Hang up a bird feeder and if you have outside space plant some bee friendly flowers.
+ Combine nature with creativity. Take photos, paint, make music, create nature inspired furnishings or clothing. Noticing the beauty of nature and expressing this creatively can help you find meaning and an emotional connection to nature that will stay with you for a lifetime.
+ Protect nature. Taking care of something can be a really great way to feel good. Nature is truly amazing and it does need our help to take care of it. Simple things like recycling, walking instead of driving, picking up rubbish, or even joining a community conservation group. Taking care of nature can help you feel that you are doing your part, and that can make you feel more positive all round.
These are just a handful of ideas you can also download a free Mental Health Foundation “Thriving with Nature” guide – created in partnership with WWF-UK for more tips and activities to enjoy nature all year round.
Get involved and share your top nature tips #ConnectWithNature