Created on 30 August 2022

Being outside, and your mental health

Being outside is something that your parents and teachers encouraged when I was younger. I loved being outdoors especially in the lighter and warmer months. I never really thought about why I was encouraged to be outside though. Scroll forward a few years and having my own kids, I now say the same to them and how being outside is good for you. Being open with our kids about mental health and how being outside is good for our physical and mental wellbeing is a great way for them to understand the importance of just being outside. I tell them about how our brain behaves and the feel-good factors that are produced when we are outside and enjoying our surroundings.

What’s going on?

Now I know we all don’t live near a park, by the sea or some fab nature reserve or even have a garden but you don’t need to. I live in a built-up area but I thought I’d start looking around my surroundings of where I actually live. What I mean is what’s going on, you know on my doorstep? I have been noticing the green space (although droughted by our summer sun!) the space there and what’s around it. If there is a bench, then I’ll have a seat and just people watch and watch the world go by.

It has made me think about my usual driving to a park, a place of interest, paying for petrol, parking and even an entrance fee. So, when I really thought about it in a different light, I’m looking to go somewhere to feel happy, peace, calm, blow the cobwebs away and serenity. I have this on my doorstep and it’s for free!

My Surroundings

I’ve now spent time walking to most of the green spaces in my area and really noticing the surroundings. I like looking at the different house styles, the birds playing and their tweeting, insects climbing over each other and even signposts that I’d never really noticed! I like how I get the same feelings as I did as a child, being outside and just doing nothing but having fun exploring.

Who would have thought that discovering what’s going on in my surroundings and taking time to just sit for a bit, people watch and chat to others sharing the same free space, could be so exhilarating and great for my mental health?


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