Nature is the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, organised by the Mental Health Foundation. This week, they will pull together the evidence that demonstrates the powerful benefits of nature for our mental health.
Being in nature can bring consolation in times of stress and increase our creativity, empathy, and a sense of wonder. “It turns out that it is not just being in nature but how we open ourselves up and interact with nature that counts.”
I met a client for a walking appointment this afternoon. We walked together around a lake and sat together for a while, talking. We spent time watching the swans and the ducks and looking at the sun glittering on the water. We were lucky as we encountered just one shower! Just being in such a lovely place enhanced our work together. I think it helped us address the difficult things that my client needed to talk through.
Nature supports my mental health. It grounds me and inspires me. It also helps me to remember my dad. He taught me how to create a garden and how to identify birds when I was growing up. We used to go on walks together, and he would always have his binoculars at the ready.
I also love my houseplants. Anyone who used to come and see me at my office before lockdown would get to experience sitting in a mini jungle. Now that I work from home online, my house has gained a lot more plants!
I’m connecting with nature this year in a new way with my puppy Barney. His absolute delight in the world is so joyful, and I get to feel that joy too.
So how about you? How does nature support your mental health?
Whatever it is for you, the Mental Health Foundation invite you to #ConnectWithNature and share what this means for you.