Mental Health Awareness Week 2021: Connect with nature

From an early age I was taught by my mother to “appreciate the nature around you”. She, in fact, still reminds my brother and I of this sentiment every time we are out and about walking our dogs.

But why is connecting with nature so important?

During this last year we have been forced to slow down and take solace in our surroundings. The Mental Health Foundation reported that their “research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies and 45% of us reported being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health.”

Being in nature is proven to reduce stress and improve productivity and creativity. Even spending a small amount of time outdoors can help ease your mental distress.

When I am particularly anxious I love going to the beach. I find being near water calms me down and I feel a sense of freedom.

How do you like to connect with nature? This Mental Health Awareness week the Mental Health Foundation are encouraging people to do three 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 their 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.

More information can be found here.

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