Our top tips on connecting with nature to improve your mental health
Throughout the pandemic, nearly half (45%) of people told the Mental Health Foundation that visiting green spaces, such as parks helped them to cope. The quality of our relationship with nature if part of the reason for it's positive impact on our wellbeing. Researchers use the term 'Connectedness' to describe the ideal relationship.
Bristol Rovers Women's mental health first-aider, Debbie Philips, shares some of her tips on connecting with nature to improve your mental health.
Try to find nature wherever you are
Local parks, gardens or beaches are great for those who can access them but also try to notice wildlife around you, changes in the weather or birdsong outside of your window.
Connect with nature using all of you senses
Whether relaxing in your back garden, travelling to work or just out of the window look and listen.
Get out into nature
If you can try to spend time visiting natural places like green spaces (parks, gardens or forests) or blue spaces (beaches, rivers or wetlands).
Bring nature to you
Have plants in the home. Grow flowers, plants or herbs. If you're not green fingered, watching films or tv programs about nature are also a great way to connect with and reflect on nature.
Exercise in nature
Whenever you able, physical exercise in nature is a great way to connect with your surroundings. Try leaving the headphones at home to listen to nature as you exercise.
Combine nature with creativity.
Try taking your creative hobby outside. This could be dance, music or art. Taking photgraphs is a great way to appreciate nature.
Whether it's recycling, walking instead of driving or joining a conservation group, taking care of nature can help you to feel you're doing your part and can help to create positive feelings.