Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week, our students, residents, staff and trustees were involved in a variety of activities to promote mental health and well-being and also to inspire them to be connected to the natural world.
Evidence suggests the overwhelming benefits nature has on our mental health. Lots of people have found that during the pandemic, a time when for many social isolation and distress have been prevalent, being out in nature has brought a unique sense of solace and grounding.
Despite the benefits nature can bring us however, many people do not access it or benefit from it as much as they could. This is the case for teenagers and young adults in particular. Nature has an awe-inspiring ability to boost our mood; increase our creativity and also cultivate empathy for others.
Across the week we learnt about eco-bricks and sustainable projects, took in an inclusive photo competition, went on a nature trail and enjoyed some food and fun out in the countryside. Students and residents also created Kindness Gifts for our community neighbours
If going for long walks in a muddy field is not your thing, there are still many ways you can enjoy nature too and feel the benefit to your mental health.
Some ideas could be:
- Driving the scenic route to work or the supermarket (a lovely idea for a sunny day)
- Meeting outdoors with family and friends. Now restrictions have lifted, what a great time to arrange a picnic or go for a walk to connect with others.
- Eating your lunch outside
- Grow some fruit, vegetables at home. This could be a family activity, nurturing a veggie patch or growing some seeds on the windowsill.
- Watch the sunset. Grabbing a warm drink and a blanket to enjoy a moment of stillness is such a calming way to end the day.