Nature and the benefits to your mental health

This week (10th – 17th May) is mental health awareness week and this year’s theme is Nature. We want to encourage you to spend the week getting out in nature and actively find ways to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Keep reading to explore 5 different ways that exploring and immersing yourself in nature can improve your mental health.

  1. Explore new places

Want to break out of your daily routine? Travelling is the perfect way to escape from the daily grind of life and explore a whole new area. It might not be possible right now to travel halfway round the world, so just exploring the next town over, and getting a change of scenery can do wonders for your mental health and help you to leave some of your worries at home.

Exploring new places

2. Get out into nature

Scientist have discovered that spending just 20 minutes a day outside can greatly improve mental health. From camping in the great outdoors to just taking a walk around your neighbourhood, there are loads of different ways to spend time in the natural environment that can improve your mental health.  With May also being National Walking month why not research your local area for places to explore.

3. Get into the Garden

Try your hand at growing your own herbs or vegetables or simply scatter wild flowers into pots to attract the bees. The therapeutic nature of focusing on the task at hand, has been known to help to relieve everyday stress. Gardening also helps us to feel more in tune with the seasonal changes, as the garden grows and changes with every week.

Meeting new people in the community

4. Increase your confidence

Once you’ve trekked up a mountain or explored the bottom of the seas, you realise that there’s no limits to what you can achieve. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is a great way to increase your confidence and potentially improve your mental health.

5. Make a difference

Participating in project work can be one of the most satisfactory ways to improve mental health. Nothing feels better than knowing you’ve made a positive impact to a community or the environment. Combine your good causes with the outside and you’ll get double the benefits!

Girl doing project work

Mark Rowland Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said: “Mental Health Awareness Week has grown to be one of the biggest awareness weeks in the UK. This year the theme is on nature and its central role for our mental health.  Since the beginning of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature to help us get through lockdowns and our research shows that good mental health depends on us being able to connect with nature in some way and its power in both prevention of and recovery from poor mental health.”

Why not share your own images/videos on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek to show your support on how nature has helped you improve your mental health.

If you’d like to learn more about mental health awareess week or feel you are struggling, please visit the official website for help and advice

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