This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (10th-16th May), and the theme for this year is Connecting with Nature. 4YoungMinds strongly believes in the benefits of nature for your mental, emotional and physical health. Nature has and will always be there, yet it is not uncommon to feel disconnected from it.
Here are 5 ways you can connect with nature this week (and beyond!):
1. Take your workout outdoors!
As the weather starts improving, a quick and easy way to include nature in your routine is to workout outside! Whilst there are still some lockdown restrictions, this is also a great way to stay connected with others and workout with a buddy. Though the gyms have reopened, or even if you prefer home workouts, why not exercise in the garden (if you have one) or head over to your local park or green space. Walk, run, cycle - anything you want! You'll be surprised how great your workout can feel in the great outdoors.
2. Connect with Wildlife
It's important for us to feel connected to the furry friends that we share nature with - their
world is our world! Having a greater connection to nature, in general, can make it easier to feel positively towards wildlife and protecting the habitats they live in, and in turn looking after the environment that we live in. Many of you will know I experience anxiety, and I always remember the time I was completely brought back to the present by watching from a window whilst a bird built its nest in my garden tree. Connecting with wildlife can be personal to you, from animal spotting, feeding ducks or squirrels or even volunteering at a community farm.
3. Do some gardening or collect house plants
Caring for plants is known to be therapeutic as it feels so rewarding to watch them grow and thrive! You can do this through gardening or by keeping plants inside your home.
If you don't have access to a garden, you can also volunteer for community gardening projects near you. Giving back is another great way to look after your wellbeing, meaning you can give and connect with nature at the same time!
4. Use nature for creativity
We all experience creativity blocks from time to time. This can be when we have a tight deadline or are trying to design something new.
Getting out into nature provides you with a change of scenery and a chance to clear your head, which can help you get back into whatever task you were stuck with before. Not only does nature improve your mood, but it can also boost your memory, reduce tiredness or simply make you feel inspired.
5. Go for a walk or seek out green spaces
Connecting with nature doesn't need to be complicated. Going for a nice walk or finding a peaceful green space to relax, read or listen to some music can do wonders for your wellbeing. During lockdown, I found so many hidden gems in my local area that I would have never known about! Take the opportunity to (re)discover what you have available to you nearby. If you're not sure where to start, you can search for your nearest nature reserve here.
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4YoungMinds is passionate about connecting younger generations with nature! Get in touch about our Environment, Nature and Wellbeing assemblies/workshops and let us help your young people thrive with nature!