Mental Health Awareness Week '21

10th – 16th May marks Mental Health Awareness Week with the theme this year being ‘nature’.

After what has been an extremely challenging year, this week offers an opportunity for everyone to focus on good mental health, and think about how to achieve and maintain that.  Now we are heading into the Summer months, connecting with nature is certainly a great way to improve our mental wellbeing.    

Mental Health awareness is something which we feel strongly about at Home Instead.  Not only do we look after the mental wellbeing of our clients, providing services and stimulating activities to help combat loneliness and depression but we also care deeply about the mental health of our employees. 

Whilst we encourage good mental health all year round, we hope that by acknowledging Mental Health Awareness Week, we can provide a focus for our clients and CAREGivers and encourage them to embrace the natural world around them!

How can nature benefit your mental health?

Take a walk

It’s simple, it’s free and great for both your physical and mental wellbeing.  Whether it’s a gentle stroll in the park or a heart-pounding power walk with the dog, walking can really help to boost your health and happiness. 

Interact with wildlife

Another simple activity that you can do from home – you might not think there is much wildlife around but how much do we actually just sit back and observe.  Why not a pop a bird feeder in the garden and see which feathered friends you can attract.  Or observe plants and shrubs to see how many bees and butterflies you can count.  You don’t have to live in a rural area to see other kinds of wildlife too.  You may spot urban foxes in the evening or even a hedgehog snuffling around!

Meet your friends outdoors

Whilst covid restrictions are still in place, we can’t actually meet our friends inside yet anyway so meeting up outside is a perfect way to keep up with our social circle.

Eat al-fresco

You don’t even need to cook outside, although a BBQ is very appealing.  Why not just take your lunch outdoors, find a quiet spot and soak in the vitamin D. 

Bring the outdoors in

Gardening is well-known for its stress-busting properties and you don’t even have to have a garden to enjoy it.  Why not introduce some houseplants into your home – tending to them will help to relax you, whilst their air-purifying properties can aid your physical health too. 

Listen to nature sounds

Whilst nothing can quite beat the real thing, you can still listen to the sweet sound of birdsong or the crashing of ocean waves from the comfort of your armchair!  Listening to sounds of nature (try downloading a smartphone app or search YouTube) can help to soothe your mind.  Why not listen before bedtime to help lull you into a deep sleep.

Take the scenic route to work

Being sat in a car may not entirely be compatible with being at one with nature, but sometimes we just can’t avoid being in one, especially if you are commuting to work.  For a change this week, why not take a slightly more scenic route to work if possible, and take in the sights of the flowers and trees that you pass.  Even accessing nature in this way can help you to feel more positive.

Do you have any other ideas?
  We would love to hear them – why not leave us a comment on our Facebook page to let us know how you are connecting with nature this week.