It’s Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year is nature. While we believe mental health and wellbeing is extremely important and should be talked about as much as possible in our normal, everyday lives, events such as Mental Health Awareness Week help to spark conversations, raise awareness and offer support to those who need it.
OK? Let’s talk mental health and getting outside…
Lockdown made life difficult for many people. Reduced contact with friends and family, job worries and home-schooling, not to mention isolation and lack of exercise, left a lot of us feeling depressed and anxious. This week The Mental Health Foundation launched a campaign to get us back outside in nature and feeling better. Mark Rowland, the CEO at the foundation, said, “Nature is our great untapped resource for a mentally healthy future.” We couldn’t agree more.
Below you’ll find a few of our favourite ways, inspired by The Mental Health Foundation, to embrace nature and look after your mental wellbeing:
Take 2 minutes for yourself and the planet
Small actions add up to make a big difference. Modern life is fast paced. Our to do lists can seem never ending and sometimes it’s hard to take a step back. But it’s necessary. Take 2 minutes for yourself every day to do something that makes you happy. Even better if it’s outside! Take a walk, go for a swim, drink your morning coffee in the garden, do yoga, sing like no one is listening! By taking just 2 minutes to make yourself smile you’ll notice a positive effect on your whole day.
Go for a walk
You don’t have to hike a mountain or run through a forest to experience nature. Even going for a walk down the street or to the local shop will make you feel better. Stretch your legs, take some deep breaths of fresh air and interact with the outdoors. Try to take in your surroundings and really notice everything that’s happening around you with all of your senses. This can help ground you and focus your mind.
Take part in a litter pick
A #2minutelitterpick isn’t just great for the Earth. It’s beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing too. When you are doing something good for the planet you’ll feel a sense of achievement. Taking the time to do a #2minutestreetclean or #2minutebeachclean is really valuable; you’re helping to take care of our world, you’re getting fresh air and exercise and hopefully you’ll inspire others to do the same!
Taking care of nature is a great way to feel better too. By simply recycling, walking to work instead of driving or choosing reusable items over single-use plastic you are directly looking after the planet. Feel good about yourself and the choices you make, because you really do make a difference.
For Mental Health Awareness Week we are revisiting the #2minutesofpositivity initiative. We are asking that this week you take 2 minutes for yourself and 2 minutes for the planet every day. Do something in nature that makes you happy, even if it’s only for 2 minutes. We are sure it’ll improve your mental wellbeing. If you’d like to share your story with us then visit our Instagram to get involved. Let’s spread the message and help more people feel good!