04 May Mental Health Awareness Week – 10th to 16th May 2021
It’s great being outside isn’t it? There is something about being in the fresh air, a sense of freedom maybe, that makes you feel better.
If I’m getting frustrated with something, such as the internet connection at home deciding to cut out just when I’ve finished typing a long email and then it won’t send, or any other irritation for that matter, just walking away from the problem for a while and going outside, calms my mind and no doubt lowers the blood pressure.
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week from 10th to 16th May 2021 and this year the theme is nature. This is very apt because it is the one thing we missed the most during the lockdowns, not being able to enjoy the outdoors and to go out to meet people. It was extremely detrimental to everyone and aggravated an enormous number of mental health issues.
If you love to keep fit, exercising outside is great for the soul and the reason why many Bootcamp style exercise classes are so popular together with challenges you see such as Mud Runs, 10k runs, half marathons, 100 mile cycle events. It’s great for both the mind and the body.
But even just being outside and not doing much in particular is very soothing. I spend what seems like hours sometimes working away but with the door open so that I can hear the birds outside and usually ends with me going outside to listen to them. This time of year, in particular, I like watching them gather up twigs and moss as they are making their nests. On one particular warm day, I kept looking at a blackbird who had decided to take in the sun’s rays by sitting on the grass, wings splayed and beak wide open. It must have stayed there for a good part of an hour. So what? You may say, but just something simple like that made me feel all warm and gooey inside!
They are asking you during Mental Health Awareness Week to share stories of how you connect with nature and how it inspires you. There would have been a time when I would have just dismissed something like this as a waste of time and that I had better things to do (or at least that is what I would have said even if I didn’t mean it) but not anymore. Make the time to just take in what is around you and it is surprising how much calmer and happier it makes you feel.
Now is a good time too as certain restrictions have been lifted and we can meet up with other people outside and make the most of the outdoors which gives our mental health a great boost.