Mental Health Awareness Week

It’s Mental Health Awareness week (10-16 May) and the theme is nature 🌿 I can’t stress enough how highly I value nature for my well being, both mental and physical, and I’m thrilled it’s the focus of Mental Health Awareness week.

I love being outdoors, and even better if I’m in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing but fields and trees and hills. It helps me relax and get my head straight. And if I need thinking time for any reason, I take a walk. Because if there’s one thing I know will lessen any feelings of anxiety or stress, it’s going for a long, mindful walk in nature. And this is something I’ve done a lot over the past year or so.

I’m very lucky that there are several quiet routes in walking distance from my house, where I can walk through the trees and listen to the birds sing. But actually it can be way simpler than that, like growing herbs on a windowsill, taking a deep breath as you pass some scented flowers or watching a beautiful cloud formation as it passes overhead (one of my personal faves and something I photograph/video all the time ⛅)

Maybe you like walking and hiking as much as I do, or maybe you’re not quite convinced. Either way, here are 5 reasons I think you should go for a walk in nature more often:

  1. It’s a fantastic way to clear your mind. If you feel like there’s just too much going on in your head, a walk will help you process your thoughts. I’m not sure of the science behind it, but I know it’s true as it works for me every time

  2. It has the potential to be the most relaxing thing you do all day. Take a deep breath of that glorious fresh air and tell me it doesn’t feel great 😃

  3. It’s brilliant exercise - walking is a low impact activity so it’s gentle on your joints, but find a hill and it’ll definitely get your heart pounding!

  4. It’ll help you notice the little details - a ladybird on a leaf; the smell of honeysuckle as you brush past (depending on the time of year of course 😅); the sound of unseen birds singing nearby

  5. It’ll inspire creativity - and I really believe this is true even if you don’t feel like a particularly creative person. Take a camera or use the one on your phone and record parts of your walk with photos and videos. But make sure you don’t see the whole walk through a lens - take pics as you go but remember to soak it all in!

Do you agree? Can you think of anything I’ve missed off my list? Let me know what you think 😊

If you need a little more inspiration for ways to connect with nature, check out #LocalAndMindful on Instagram or see the story highlight on my profile. I ran this free challenge with my friend @emilieboucherstudio, to encourage people to get out and appreciate what’s around them using their senses of sight, hearing, smell and touch.

We posted the last prompt on Sunday 9 May, and it focused on what you can hear. It’s not too late to join in - and actually it's never too late to join in regardless of when you read this post. Just use the hashtag and tag myself and Emilie so we can see and share your post. We’d love to connect with you through our mutual appreciation of the beauty and wonder of nature 💕