Resilience, mental health and nature

Once again it’s here again.

What am I talking about?

Mental health Awareness Week that’s what and the theme The Mental Health Foundation have chosen for this year is…. nature.

Nature is so important to our psychological and emotional well-being.

My next door neighbour who is in her mid 80’s was totally isolated during lockdown and she received great comfort and joy watching the birds frolicking and flowers grow and fade in her garden.

Over the last 10 years or so I have a blackbird and his family who visit me every year. He and his missus nest somewhere in my hedge and every day they hop around my very small lawn. He even keeps me company when I do the gardening and hang out my washing.

I’d love to think he knows what I’m wittering on at him about but I doubt it.

Frankly, I’m not sure if it’s the same family of blackbirds year in and year out but there they are and I love watching them.

What can you do to get a little respite and enjoy nature in your life?

I know in lockdown walking as an exercise became very popular and it continues to be so.

After living in my current home for 34 years, last week I was ashamed and delighted to find out there are so many public footpaths taking me in to some glorious countryside and only within a few minutes walk.

I can see the countryside from where I live I just didn’t know the public footpaths existed. I’ve walked on the roads by the fields but never on a public footpath in the fields.

And that was thanks to a friend of mine and Google Maps. Once again I had no idea you could do a search for parks and woods ‘nearby me’ on Google.

I love walking in woodland, the countryside, by ponds, lakes, reservoirs and by the sea. Particularly by the sea as I find the sound of the waves soooooo relaxing.

Unless it’s really extreme weather, I do a daily walk and when I do I’m in the moment. I look at the scenery as much as I can and take in the scents and sounds.

It’s being mindful that’s so beneficial to our wellbeing.

Next time you go for a walk see how many different flowers you can spot, admire the colours, look at the textures of the trees, plants and wildlife.

If all you can manage is a walk in a built up area do the same, be mindful of what’s around you.

As I said, it’s being in the moment that de-stresses and grounds us.

If you haven’t done so already, the one thing you must do this week and every week is get back to nature.

What are you going to do today to get back to nature?

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