Lifestyle

How Can Nature Improve Your Mental Health? Tips for NHS workers

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place between the 10th and 16th of May, and this year’s theme is all about nature & the environment. After being locked indoors for the best part of a year, nature is an excellent theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. 

Over the last year, the pandemic has affected millions of us in unpredictable ways. We have not been able to visit our loved ones, get outside and enjoy life like we usually would. In doing so, this has affected many people and has caused a significant mental health struggle.

With the challenges we have faced and will continue to face, it is essential for us to spread mental health awareness and support during these unpredictable times. By discussing mental health openly and honestly, we can spread awareness, provide support and offer ideas. For instance, a great way to combat our struggles is through nature. No, seriously, trust us. It helps.

Nature is an excellent mental health resource.

The evidence is clear – connecting with nature is a great way to destress and has been proven to better our mental well-being. Regardless of where you live, getting outside to your local park, the seafront, or simply sitting in your garden on a lovely summer’s evening is so essential for your health. Connecting with nature is a great mood booster, but don’t feel like you need to take part in an I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here trail to feel at peace. Simple things like walks and picnics are way more effective.

The Team

After a year of being trapped indoors, we want to inspire our members to get out and enjoy nature as much as possible. In line with government guidelines, of course. One of the best things we can do during these unpredictable times is share coping mechanisms, tips, and tricks with one another. The team at Health Service Discounts have shared some of their favourite nature-inspired activities that help their mental health.

“I love going for a walk in the early hours of the morning when everything is quiet. It’s soothing!” – Michael.

“For me, walking my dog, hiking, and camping really help my mental health. It helps me disconnect. “ – Jack.

“Personally, I use photography to help me release. That is why I like to get outside and capture some beautiful pictures! “ – Olivia.

“I enjoy going for long walks with views. It helps clear my mind and escape from the world” – Aimee.

Inspiration

Do you need some inspiration to help you get outside and enjoy nature? Well, we have you covered. Why not try and:

  • Take a walk in a green space, like a park.

  • Eat meals outdoors. Picnics are perfect this time of year!

  • Try and exercise outside.

  • Take the dog (or cat) for a walk outside.

  • Plant and grow food in your garden.

  • Help the environment – go litter picking, volunteer for a conservation product, or plant helpful seeds. 

  • Connect with animals – visit a local farm or try and watch wildlife.

  • Buy houseplants.

  • Water your houseplants.

How To Get Involved 

Donate

Over the last year, the rise in mental health struggles has surged. Now more than ever, charities and organisations such as MIND need our help to continue fighting for Mental Health. There are many ways to help support Mental Health Awareness Week. Why not donate to MIND can help continue the fight for mental health while supporting those struggling. Click here to donate to MIND. 

Share your experience 

Now it’s your turn! We want to hear from you, our members, on how nature has supported your mental health. This can be something as simple as going for a walk, sitting in a park, or taking care of your house plants. Head on over to our social media or leave a comment below and let us know your tips, tricks, or simply let us know what you do to ensure your mental health is a priority. We want to share on our social media our member’s advice and support!

Make sure you use the hashtags #MHAW and #FightForMH to join the conversation.

For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, please visit the Mental Health Foundation or MIND.

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