This year’s mental health awareness week runs from May 10 – May 16 2021. This event is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and the chosen theme is ‘Nature’.

Why Nature?

‘Nature’ refers to the environment in which we can use our senses to experience the natural world. Nature is known to be central to our psychological and emotional health, not only does it bring comfort in times of stress, it also increases our creativity and empathy. During the pandemic the most popular ways people tried to maintain good mental health and manage stress was through nature.

How can nature benefit our mental health?

Being in nature can benefit both our mental and physical wellbeing. Mentally, it can reduce our feelings of stress, anger, fear, improve our mood and allow us to feel more relaxed. Can improve confidence, self-esteem and can make new connections. Physically it can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and improve our physical health overall.

How can you connect with nature?

There are many ways that we can connect with nature. How we connect will depend on our own personal preferences. This could be by doing things like gardening, bird watching, a walk or yoga in the park. We may want to do something by ourselves or with others.

Here are some suggestions of how to connect with nature:

  • Mindfulness Stroll
  • Watch a Sunset
  • Practice Yoga Outdoors
  • Arrange to meet up with friends for a picnic or an outdoor walk
  • Have your lunch outdoors
  • Grow something
  • Bring the outside in – buy a plant for your home
  • Go for a walk
  • Take photos of your favourite places
  • Gardening

Further reading and resources: