How to reconnect with nature to boost your mental health
Improve your own wellbeing by embracing the outdoors.
In case you didn’t already know, this week is Mental Health Awareness week. Each year the event has a theme and for 2021 the theme is nature. 2020 and the start of 2021 has possibly been one of the worst years for those battling with their mental health conditions. The change of routine, lack of socialising, health concerns and loss of friends and family members has taken a toll on everyone.
One aspect that has brought solace to many over the pandemic is the reconnection with nature. Without many options of going out and socialising, countless people started to factor ‘daily walks’ into their routine. By taking to the outdoors, they got to experience the fresh air and open spaces, without the fear or worry of contracting the virus.
According to Mentalhealth.org “Our research 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. Wider studies also found that during lockdowns, people not only spent more time in nature but were noticing it more.”
If you are struggling with your mental health and you want to reach out and speak to a professional, why not head to The Prince’s Trust? They have plenty of resources, contact numbers and services that can get you the help you need.
How to improve your own mental health through nature
- Find nature in your area
- Connect using all of your senses
- Bring nature into your home
- Exercise outdoors
- Get creative with nature
1. Find nature in your area
If you are in a built up area, you might not be aware of all the local nature spots, but if you do some research, it won’t be long until you find one. The UK is full of parks, fields and green spaces, even in major cities. Look out for the unexpected, keep an eye out for guerilla gardening, urban foxes or even birds at your window.
2. Connect using all of your senses
Don’t just go out into nature for the sake of it, in order to fully reap the benefits, you need to make a connection with the outside world using all of your senses. Listen out for the sounds, take in the smells, think about everything you can see around you and take a moment to ground yourself in the outdoors.
3. Bring nature into your home
If you struggle to find the time to leave the house as often as you would like, try bringing nature into your home with houseplants. Try growing your own herbs using the pots you find in the supermarket, opt for some beautiful greenery that you can take care of or even pop a bird feeder outside of your window.
4. Exercise outdoors
Getting out of the house is really important both for our mental and physical health. If you take trips to the gym or workout at home, why not try doing this outside instead? Go for a run or take your yoga videos out to the garden or balcony.
5. Get creative with nature
If you are looking for a fun way to connect with nature, then try getting creative. Go out and take photos on your walks, take a sketchpad or journal with you. If you really wanna get artsty, why not collect flowers to put in resin or press for jewellery?
Aligning with nature can be really helpful for someone trying to improve their mental health, however if you or someone you know is really struggling, it’s important to reach out to a professional. There is a number of mental health resources available at The Prince’s Trust.