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  • sjbooth7

Nature and our mental health

Now that the sun is finally shining and it is more appealing to venture outside, I wanted to write about the link between nature and our mental health. Nature is actually really good for the way we feel; it increases our concentration span, relaxes us, helps us to put things into perspective and helps us feel more connected to the world around us and the people around us. During the pandemic, millions of us turned to walks and sitting in or walking through green spaces as a top coping strategy. But a lot of us find it difficult to know how to connect with nature outside of going for walks or going to the woods. So, I’m going to give you four quick top tips; ways that you can connect with nature on more of a daily basis.

 

  1. Grow or pick food

If you've got a patch in your garden or an allotment space, even if you’ve just got a window sill you can grow food. You can grow a whole host of things on a windowsill, including herbs, beetroot, kale, even edible flowers! Or you can find places, like farms where you can go and pick fruit either for a cost or for free. Now is prime strawberry picking season!

 



2. Bring the outdoors in

It's easy enough to connect with the outdoors if you have a garden but not everybody has a garden and it's not always the nicest weather to actually sit out there. So, you can bring nature and green space inside your home. You could buy flowers or houseplants and again, put things on your windowsills. You can create mini gardens in glass jars called terrariums. You just put in there a little bit of soil, some stones and some mini plants. You can put anything else that you want to in there like seashells or mini figurines to make them fun and then you can put them on the windowsill or anywhere around your home. You can also take pictures of your favourite places in nature and use them as the background of your phone or your computer. You could also listen to nature sounds, things like the sound of ocean waves or birds singing.

 

3. Get outside!

But the third is to get outdoors sometimes. Go for a walk or do your workout in the garden or the park, or go for a run. There are lots of different ways that you can get outside. You can find local walking or ramblers groups, or if you prefer to do things at night you can try stargazing and there are lots of great apps which will tell you about what it is that you're looking at and the different constellations.

 

4. Connect with animals

If you've got a pet make sure you're taking them for a walk or offer to pet sit for friends or family. You can also volunteer to walk other people's dogs. Or you can put things like bird feeders on your window or bird boxes underneath your windowsills to attract birds to your home.


So, they are just four quick and easy ways you can connect a little more with nature. Try those this week and see what impact they have on the way you feel.

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