Reconnect with nature for Mental Health Awareness Week

It’s been a tough old time during lock-down and looking after our mental health has never been more important. We find that nature is often the best medicine, and have some great tips inspired by our chums at Friends of the Earth. Read on for top tips on how the healing powers of nature can help to beat the isolation blues.


Nature spotting

With the evenings getting lighter and the sun coming out, getting out into greenspaces (whilst still practicing social distancing) is a great way to support your mental wellbeing and appreciating the natural world. Spring time nature walks are a perfect opportunity to shed those thick winter coats and feel connected with your surroundings and do some wildlife spotting with our DIY wildlife binoculars.  

Create space for nature

Creating a compost heap, planting seedlings or tending to a window box not only gets you moving but also helps to release feel-good hormones. You may find it helps you to overcome perfectionism, which can lead to stress. Nature has her own plans and accepting that the occasional unwanted creepy crawly and weeds are a part of the process is a good analogy for life. We’ve got crafty tips on creating your own  bug hotels to encourage wildlife to set up home on your patch. For more pointers on how you can support bees in your garden, check out Friends of the Earth’s tips.

Explore a different world

There’s a whole nocturnal world out there just waiting to be discovered! Wait until dusk and take some time to appreciate the peace we miss when we’re indoors watching TV. Dragging out a duvet onto the balcony or lawn and taking some time with your nearest and dearest can be an amazing way to connect with our native birds and critters under the stars.  

Deep breathing

There’s a reason why we head outside to blow the cobwebs away. Fresh air can lift our mood, give better focus and wake us up. As the weather improves, leave windows opens to circulate air through your home and enjoy the natural sounds of birdsong and the feeling of a breeze. If you’re without an outside space, meditating with the sounds of nature and fresh air can be a great way to relax and ground yourself if you’re feeling anxious. With your eyes closed in a comfortable position, take a gentle breath through your nose for a count of 4, and slowly exhale for 8. Repeat this for at least 3 minutes and open up your senses.

Get passionate with at-home activism

Sometimes, looking at the bigger picture and working towards a cause can help us feel connected not only to nature, but to the community around us. Friends of the Earth have a wealth of causes to get passionate about; “From climate breakdown to protecting our precious wildlife sites, there’s a wide world of environmental campaigning that you can be part of and help bring about positive change. Go online and find out how you can help make the world a better place.”

You can find more blues-busting ideas from the planet protectors at Friends of the Earth here.

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