Mental Health Awareness week runs from the 10th-16th May, and the main theme this year is ‘Connect with Nature’. Your mental health is just as important to your wellbeing as your physical health – so make sure to help yourself and others by talking about it and keeping yourself positive.
Over lockdown, many people had different ways of keeping on top of their mental health, whether it was new hobbies, staying in touch with friends, or going out on nature walks. Nature, and how it leads to positive mental health, lead to the theme of mental health awareness week being connect with nature as well as guiding the Mental Health Foundation to research how exactly Nature helped people to cope during lockdowns over the last year.
Some key points from this research were:
Going for walks outside was one of the top coping strategies over the last year
45% of people reported that being in green spaces has been vital for our mental health
During lockdowns people were spending a lot more time in nature, and were starting to notice nature more often
Nature connectedness is associated with lower levels of poor mental health; in particular lower depression and anxiety levels
You may think that with 13% of households in the UK not having access to a garden that it is not so easy to access and benefit from nature but even simple things will help improve mental health, whether it’s getting yourself a house plant to look after, looking out the window to bird watch or listen to bird calls, taking a small walk each day outside, or if you can visit a small park and seeing the nature there. Simple things like this will make your day much better, so even if you may not have a garden make sure to bring nature to you using those simple steps.
Everyone at the Mental Health Foundation are encouraging you this week to share with them how nature has supported you, whether it is going for daily walks, watching birds, tending to your plants etc.
Share with them using#ConnectWithNature