11 May Mental Health Awareness Week 2021
Mental Health is such an important topic and one that should be talked about more. In the last year especially, many people have been struggling with a lack of contact with people, being in isolation and missing out on activities they love. Its ok not to be ok, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The theme for this year’s week is ‘connecting with nature’. Chief Executive for the Mental Health Foundation, Mark Rowland, explains why;
“Nature is so central to our psychological and emotional health, that it’s almost impossible to realise good mental health for all without a greater connection to the natural world. For most of human history, we lived as part of nature. It is only in the last five generations that so many of us have lived and worked in a context that is largely separated from nature. And it is only since a 1960s study in the US found that patients who were treated in hospitals with a view of nature recovered faster, that science has started to unpack the extraordinary health benefits.”
The impact that nature can have on our mental health is amazing. Over the past year it has been great to see so many people embracing the countryside and natural space we have. No matter the weather, your age or physical ability, there is always an adventure to be had. We thought we would take the time to share with you our connections with Nature. As a team we all love to spend time outside with our horses, dogs, family and friends.
“For me nature is a constant reminder around us to slow down and appreciate the moment we are in and often what is right in front of us. On a walk this week, I spotted this beautiful tree and it was so stunning against the blue sky. It can be all too easy to hurry from one place to another and forget to stop, look up and take a moment to appreciate little gifts like this.” – Katy
Lesley spends a great deal of time outside walking with her friends and family, often putting the rest of the team to shame with the number of steps she does in a day. “Mine and Ralf’s happy place, North Norfolk.” – Lesley
“I feel so lucky to live somewhere where I can take country walks with my dog. Something about the lovely yellow buttercups and her joy at racing around always puts me in a positive mood mentally. That and the different views of the river & town from across the fields. Nature in all it’s glory (including otters!).”– Sam
“Being outdoors in somewhere a bit untidy and nature-friendly gives me an enormous sense of well-being, and it’s even better if it has a bug hotel.” – Jane
“I enjoy hiking because it is challenge, and I get to spend time with my family, enjoy incredible views and breathe in lots of fresh air while doing it! Also, after a long hike, you feel like you’ve really earnt a sit down, hot meal and glass of wine. I like that too!” – Louise
“In the past year being outside has been our way of escaping, it has taken us on adventures, exploring the amazing place we live in and making memories. We love the time we spend outdoors, no matter the weather we have fun then when we get home its time for a Hot Chocolate or an Ice cream.” – Cat
“My happy place, just me and my girl ‘Patience’. Whenever life is getting too tough there is nothing better than the view through these ears. Being out in countryside I can feel the stress ease away. She has 100% helped keep my mental health in check .” – Julia
“Having spent most of my life living by the sea on various coastlines, to now live inland has been a big change. I absolutely love walking along the winding rivers and through the rolling fields of Northamptonshire. However, we are on holiday this week in Northumberland and this totally sums up nature and how it can impact mental wellbeing for me – wide open sands, blue skies, the call of gulls and wind on your cheeks – our two happy dogs racing across the beach. Can’t get better than that.” – Clara-Jane