This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the theme is loneliness.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in four adults feels lonely some or all of the time.
Feeling lonely for long period of time can be really damaging to your mental health, but it can be hard to know how to help yourself.
Small changes can make a big difference when it comes to your mental health, and in this article, we wanted to highlight how spending time in nature can have a positive impact on your mental health.
Your Mental Health and Nature
Spending time in nature can help improve both your physical and mental wellbeing. Being in nature can help you to relieve stress and boost your mood, making you feel happier in yourself.
GROW and Mental Health
Our GROW programme is the alternative education provision we offer at Amelia Trust. As well as focusing on practical life skills, we also help our young people take care of their mental health and wellbeing. Alongside more formal health and wellbeing sessions, we know that one of the reasons GROW is so successful is our unique setting.
The young people on the GROW programme spend time outside every day. Whether that’s helping to feed the animals, taking the donkeys for a walk, or maintaining the woodland, time outside is key.
“If it wasn’t for this place my mental health would be in the bin.”
“I have got over my social anxiety and I’m very happy here.”
“[Amelia Trust is] my happy place.”Former young people on the GROW programme
Amelia Trust: A Care Farm and Safe Space
Our unique Care Farm provides lots of opportunities for our young people, volunteers, and visitors to connect with nature, take time out away from the pressures of everyday life, and enjoy being outdoors.
With a woodland, plenty of open space, animals, and lots of quiet areas, we are a welcoming space for everyone, and we try to encourage all of our visitors to make the most of being in unspoilt countryside.
Ideas to Help You be Mindful in Nature
The next time you visit the Farm, or the next time you go outside, use these prompts to help you become more aware of your surroundings and make the most of being outside:
- Use your senses – Think about what you can see, hear, smell, and touch. Appreciate the natural sounds from birds, insects, and the weather, and try to tune into each individual sound.
- Take deep breaths – Deep breathing can help you become more mindful and will give your mind something to focus on while you walk.
- Turn your phone off – Removing distractions (even for a short time) can help you relax and enjoy being in the moment.
For more guidance on how to take care of your own mental health, please check out the resources available on the Mental Health Foundation website.