Mental Health Awareness Week 2021
Last week saw Mental Health Awareness week and we were thinking about ‘what nature means to me’ and the benefits of nature on wellbeing, fitting in with the theme of ‘connect with nature’. Connecting with nature is positive for mental wellbeing, from getting exercise in the fresh air to taking a moment to stop and smell the flowers and appreciate what’s around us.
Connecting with nature means different things to different people, it could mean exercise, mindfulness, taking the dog out, being in the garden, the list goes on! But here are some top tips for using nature to improve your wellbeing
- Try and get out in the fresh air, if you aren’t quite ready to go out you could try opening up all your windows to let the air flow through, it may be a little nippy but the fresh air will be worth it!
- Start small and build up, start with a walk to the end of the road, walk for 5 minutes, then 10, then 20 and so on, make it part of your routine!
- Find out if there are any exercises you enjoy in the outdoors, biking, running, kayaking, footballing, golfing, skate boarding – give one a go!
- Appreciate nature, listen to the birds, smell the flowers, take photos of beautiful scenery to look back on and take a minute to take notice of your surroundings!
- Try and do things you love outdoors, do yoga in the garden, read a book on a bench or laying in the grass, listen to music whilst strolling through your local park, knit in the sunshine!
- Bring nature into your home, grow food or a plant or flowers, nurture something and watch it grow and flourish
Being around nature improves your mood as it makes you feel more relaxed and reduces stress. Being out in nature can improve your physical health through exercising and being active, in turn improving your confidence and self-esteem, so start taking steps to connect with nature.
This year HeadsUp posted wellbeing videos, staff photos/videos and participant photos/videos of nature to share how our team and participants engage with nature to help their wellbeing.
More info of Mental Health Awareness Week can be found here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week