Mental Health Awareness Week runs from Monday 10 May to Sunday 16 May 2021. This year’s theme is ‘Nature’. The theme was chosen because being in nature is known to be an effective way of tackling mental health problems and of protecting our wellbeing. We all know first hand that spending time outdoors has been one of the key elements in enabling people to deal with the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nature is an important need for many and vital in keeping us emotionally, psychologically and physically healthy.
Nature can be widely defined when associated with mental health benefits. It can mean green spaces such as parks, woodland or forests as well as blue spaces like rivers, wetlands, beaches or canals. It also includes trees on an urban street, private gardens, verges and even indoor plants or window boxes.
One of our main goals here at Méid Denim is to protect and promote our environment and what is has to offer. We want to encourage our followers to explore your outdoor surroundings this week and try to maintain some outdoor activities in your busy schedules moving forward!
Here are some tips to try and connect with nature going forward;
- Find nature wherever you are
Nature is all around us. It could be a public green area or park, a beach or the open countryside. Even in our bigger towns and cities you can utilise public outdoors areas and explore what your local community has to offer.
- Connect with nature using all of your senses
It is important to have some quiet time to reflect in natural surroundings using all your senses and can be a real boost to your mental health. This can be anything from sitting out in your back garden, or while going for a walk just noticing the sounds and sights of nature around you which can help you to find a sense of calm and joy.
- Get out into nature
If you can, try to spend time visiting natural places – green spaces like parks, gardens or forests – or blue spaces like the beach, rivers and wetlands. This can help you reduce your risk of mental health problems, lift your mood and help you feel better about things.
- Bring nature to you
Sometimes it can be difficult to access natural places because of where you live, how busy you are, how safe you feel or your health. An alternative is to incorporate nature in your home! Adding house plants, pots of herbs, a small vegetable patch or getting a bird feeder are all great ways to enjoy nature from the comfort of your home.
- Exercise in nature
If you can participate in physical exercise try to do it outside. Walking or running outdoors in nature may help to prevent or reduce feelings of anger, tiredness and sadness. Why not try leaving your earphones at home this time and listen to the sounds around you.
- Combine nature with creativity
Try combining creativity with your natural environment. This could involve taking part in creative activities outside, like dance, music, or art. All of these things can help reduce stress and improve your mood. 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.