Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Nature is the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021. Many of us sought solace in the wonders of nature during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. Research conducted by the Mental Health Foundation revealed that going for a walk outside was a key coping strategy during this period and 45% of respondents reported being in a green space had been vital for their mental health. Furthermore there is evidence that children who have increased access to green space have a lower incidence of developing ADHD. There are a multitude of factors that might explain why being close to greenery may be positive for our mental health for example, promoting exercise, decreased pollution, the effect on brain development, improved immune responses and increased social connectedness.Nature is a wonderful vehicle to tune into a connect with in a mindful way. By doing so can help us to improve our overall wellbeing, concentration, feelings of relaxation, reduce anxiety and enhance enjoyment. How can we connect with nature? We can listen to the sounds, the birds tweeting, the stream flowing, the leaves rustling. We can feel the tree bark, the soil or the water flowing through our fingers. We can smell the forest or the flowers around us. This mental health week try and find your very own piece of nature, try and connect with it in a mindful way and reap the benefits.“Nature itself is the best physician.” – Hippocrates
 
Dr Alexis Bowers