Mental Health Awareness Week – Connect with Nature
These past 14 months have been like no other! For many ‘being in nature’, the theme of this year’s Mental Health Week, may not be as straightforward as it sounds. Isolation, anxiety and fear may have stopped individuals, but also working from home has meant that we need to be much more disciplined with our time and make allowance for brain breaks, reflection and the opportunity to be in the present moment.
Something that Laura, at Pure Resourcing, has appreciated more since Lockdown is the spring’s signs of new life; the bulbs popping up, the blossom appearing on the trees and the beautiful bird song – Grounding / Earthing for a short period everyday can really reap in the free health benefits. It really is as simple as kicking your shoes off and standing in the garden, grass, soil, sea, a lake, or the beach. Grounding is a powerful antioxidant known to man, it helps reset our circadian rhythm, helps optimise sleep, helps balance cortisol levels (great when you are feeling stressed) &reduces inflammation too. *
Graham’s take on coming closer to nature is jumping on two wheels and cycling through the countryside appreciating the views and the landscapes whether it be the green plans of Essex or (when permitted) the arid, rugged routes in Sunny Portugal.
“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” — Arthur Conan Doyle
Kam enjoys some tranquil time on the lakes sailing, he has worked hard to create a zen utopia within his back garden.
“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin
Whilst Ian enjoys walks at Windsor Great Park with the gorgeous Lily and enjoys spending time exploring the costal routes of Southern Cornwall.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better” – Albert Einstein
With the optimum goal of ensuring good mental health for all, we need to ensure that our companies understand their duty of care and play their part in growing the awareness for the need to make time for our mind; providing a supportive infrastructure should we need to take up their services. Alongside regular topical CPD sessions and workshops, Mental Health should be openly discussed and not considered a taboo topic. Afterall, a focus on team wellbeing will hopefully reduce burnout, absenteeism and demotivation so it is in their best interest to be on point with it.
“… The attitude that your peace, your health of mind, and your heart means more than getting everything else done. That your smile matters. That feeling rested matters. That holding the hands of your loved ones matter.
So pause lots, function at a pace that doesn’t pull you apart. Honour the things that make you feel good inside, the things that make you feel alive. Give time to those things this week.
Make time the gift it is, by giving it to what really matters to you.” — S.C. Lourie
So what small things can you do from today? Spend your coffee breaks or lunch in the open air, make a point of going outside rather than eating lunch at your desk. Position a plant in the office area; give your space a breath of fresh air with an air purifying plant. Not only will it help filter the air from irritants, but it can help control the carbon dioxide levels which can link to how well we sleep and the health of our immune system, put us in better moods and, who knew, even help with our productivity!
*If grounding interests you, check out the advice and information from Tim Gray – The UK’s Biggest Biohacker.