Mental Health Awareness Week

This week (10-16th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week with the theme being nature. At a time in our lives where mental health is perhaps one of the nation’s biggest concerns, I hope you’ve all been looking after yourselves for the past 14 months.

Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, said: “Mental Health Awareness Week has grown to be one of the biggest awareness weeks in the UK. This year the theme is on nature and its central role for our mental health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature to help us get through lockdowns and our research shows that good mental health depends on us being able to connect with nature in some way and its power in both prevention of and recovery from poor mental health”.

Living in Sheffield we are collectively blessed with an incredible ‘back garden’ and have been encouraged to explore the nature on our doorstep. I for one wouldn’t be quite the human I am without walking, running and cycling around the miles and miles of stunning countryside that surrounds us or spending time in my own garden.

As the Mental Health first aider at Born + Raised, I’ve encouraged our amazing team to get out there. We’ve walked 1,000,000 steps in our pedometer challenge, stepped and cycled 5,000 miles in 40 days in our mileometer challenge, and this weekend we’re tackling the climb to Mam Tor.

What could you do to appreciate nature?

Spend time in your garden, enjoy house plants in your home, get creative – painting, music, or reading in the outdoors, take the scenic route on your journeys, watch that crazy thunderstorm, check out this website for some inspiration on where and what to do in our ‘Outdoor City’.

Some places I can wholly recommend and visit regularly are: Grenoside woods, Wharncliffe crags, Damflask Resevoir (or any reservoir for that matter), The Five Weirs walk, Sheffield Canal Basin, Botanical Gardens, Wyming Brook, Lady Canning’s Chase, Padley Gorge, and Stanage Edge. There really are too many to mention!

Nature always makes me feel calm, mindful, happy, thankful, and a little bit in awe of Mother Nature. So why not make a promise to yourself to take a moment to look around you, breathe in the air, and simply appreciate what we have?

So drag out the kids (they spend far too much time on devices), meet up with your mates, or take a stroll with your partner, you’ll be glad you did and feel a whole lot brighter.

#ConnectWithNature  #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek