Mental Health Awareness Week: The benefits of connecting with nature

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme for this year is nature.

Over the last year, many of us have appreciated the access to nature and the outdoors much more than we usually would have. However, those living in lockdowns without gardens or access to nearby parks may have felt the negative effects of not being able to experience the bliss that nature brings to our mental state.

It has been reported that those who have been able to access parks or wide-open spaces have felt overwhelmingly positive effects on their mental health.

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) surveyed over 4000 people on their engagement with nature over the past year and its impacts.

As a result, more than 65 per cent of survey participants mentioned that being in nature encouraged positive experiences such as “calm”, “wonder” and “joy”. Not only this, but almost half admitted that nature has helped them “cope with stress” and “make them less worried or anxious”.

To reap the benefits for yourself, here are a few to-dos to add to your list for this week:

Going for a walk

The greatest creativity occurs when the brain is at rest.

This does not always mean being passive. For a lot of people, it can mean engaging in a restorative activity, like walking in nature.

Exercising amongst nature

Spring is upon us and slowly, the weather should start improving. This means it could be a great time to take indoor fitness activities to the outdoors.

Not only will this encourage the benefits nature brings to us, but we also know that physical activity boosts the ‘feel-good’ hormones, dopamine and endorphins.

Bringing the outdoors in

It is a good idea to bring some nature indoors. Whether they are flowers or small plants, there is much research into the benefits of being surrounded by nature throughout the day. This could provide stress relief, cleaner air, a creativity boost and much more.

Mental health issues can often be overlooked or misunderstood, and some people find it hard to get the right support. The Care at Home team has a wealth of experience helping those with a range of challenging and complex needs.

For more help or advice from our team, please get in touch today.

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