11 May 2021
Spending time in a green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. As part of Mental Health Awareness Week we are promoting the health benefits of nature.
For example, doing things like growing food or flowers, exercising outdoors or being around animals can have lots of positive effects. It can:
You can find more information on how to do this here.
There is a lot of scientific research exploring the fascinating link between time spent in nature with a reduced risk of mental health problems, improved mood and reduced stress. Just walking in the park can make you forget some of the stresses of our lives at the moment and it has been a lifeline during the lockdowns. Experiencing natural sunlight, fresh air and even the rain can help our bodies readjust to their natural rhythms.
There are many lovely green spaces in Islington, some of which you may not be aware of. You can find the complete list of them here.
If you can’t go out at the moment, why not try and bring nature into your home. If you have a small space you could plant herbs or bedding plants in pots, or if not, there are lots of lovely house plants which can bring enjoyment to every room. Tending to plants and looking after your plants gives a great sense of wellbeing.
Making some quiet time to reflect on your natural surroundings can be really positiveyou’re your mental health and wellbeing. Some of you may have even heard of the Japanese phenomenon, Forest Bathing. This is about spending time in a forest engaging all your senses, which can help to ease negative feelings and boost positive ones.
If you’re not sure how to practice ‘mindfulness’, just take your time to be aware of how you’re feeling, your surroundings, what you can hear, smell, touch and see. Apart from what you’re doing right at that moment, try to let other thoughts drift away by focusing on your senses.
Being around animals and wildlife can also be beneficial for your overall wellbeing. Even if you are stuck indoors, look outside your window and see if you can spot some birds. If you can’t see them, listen for them instead! The more you look, the more you see!
Nature can be a great inspiration to get creative! Try doing some painting, drawing, crafting something, photography or writing – the possibilities are endless.