This year, the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 is ‘Nature’. Across the country, people will be celebrating the mental health benefits of being around nature in their local community in a range of digital and creative ways.
Each of us has unique experiences with nature and unique reasons for desiring a stronger connection with it. This week’s posts focus on getting started and trying new things in nature. Whatever your circumstances, there are suggestions for incorporating some natural benefits into your life.
According to a study conducted by the Mental Health Organisation UK, connecting with nature helps to alleviate mental health issues such as anxiety and sadness. For example, research into ecotherapy (a type of formal treatment which involves doing activities outside in nature) has shown it can help with mild to moderate depression. These benefits could be the result of frequent exercise and social interaction along with exposure to the outdoors.
Being outside in natural light can be helpful if you experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that affects people during particular seasons or times of the year. Other types of mental health issues have been alleviated as a result of people’s experiences in nature, as well.
Taking ‘time out’ has proven to improve sleep as part of wellbeing.