Anxiety Confidence Depression Mental Health Self-Care Self-Help

How to Help the Environment and Your Mental Health

Nowadays it can feel like there is a massive disconnect between us in nature, whether it’s due to built-up urban areas, or our jobs just keeping us inside longer. Sometimes it can be overlooked how much nature can help us in feeling better within ourselves. It’s easy to stay inside, especially in these winter months but here’s a few reasons why it’s great to get out and about.

It helps ground us.

As cavemen we were out in nature for our entire lives, living in caves hunting and foraging from the land around us. Fast forward to 2022 and we’re lucky if we have a local park nearby houses. Sometimes it can feel like you go days without seeing a healthy looking plant! This disconnect from the natural world goes against our make-up as Homo sapiens. Although we have lovely warm houses now, we do need to keep connecting ourselves within nature. Nature helps a feel connection to everything around us, the animals, lakes, at the sea, wind, air we’re all connected. And as much as we think we don’t, we really do rely on nature of everything. Something so simple as going for a walk can help us reset our minds, and clarify thoughts that we have been ruminating on for awhile. Going for a walk can offer us a change of surroundings that inspire us and make us think laterally about our problems.

Be part of the change.

It can be easy to look at the news – see wildfires, flooding and droughts all over the world and feel hopeless. This can take a toll on your mental-health, and there is a recently coined phrase called ‘eco-anxiety’ which relates to anxiety focused on the state of the planet. Instead of feeling hopeless, there are so many organisations that need volunteers to help with things such as beach cleaning, rewilding areas, or replanting trees for regeneration of areas. Not only does this help us interact socially with people we may not meet every day, it is this as a sense of purpose and community which are social creatures we do desperately need. This also links with grounding yourself to your environment and surroundings, I can help clear your mind and sometimes re-evaluate what is important to you. A quick Google search will provide loads of information to organisations in your area that are always looking for people to help them out.

beach, sea, sunset, person, arms, hopeful

Upcycle and Create!

We live in our wasteful society, whether it’s food waste, fast fashion or disposable/unfixable electronics. Sometimes it’s good to take time away from the screen and try to upcycle something you already own. Keep wasting money on plastic bags? Make yourself a new bag out of old clothes! Want to send someone a card to let them know you’re thinking of them? Instead of buying one, maybe you create a unique card just for that person. 

Instead of shopping for jeans at your favourite fast fashion place, maybe invest in your clothes or items that you want to buy. You’d be amazed by how investing in certain pieces how much longer they will last due to their higher quality.

All about the Animals.

Whether you have a pet or not, we’ve all stopped on the street to look at that adorable dog someone is walking. And more often than not you’re going to ask if you can give that cute little thing a good ear scratch. There’s a reason for this, by stroking an animal it releases endorphins (which are the happy hormones). Which is why we feel calm and loved. 

If you don’t own a pet why not go to an animal sanctuary, as places like this as well as being adorable and help support organisations that help injured/rehabilitating animals get back on their feet. Animals can help calm our minds, make us feel safe, make us feel not judged and can make us feel wanted. They can sense it when we are sad. They can sense your happiness and want to play… animals are just the best! And by getting out in nature you can see them up close, or from far away it’s up to you! It takes us away from our normal routine and can help us in the morning.

person, landscape, hat, sea, coast, trees, pine, sunny

Exercise outside.

If you find yourself getting bored of the gym or all your regular classes – try doing it  outside. Whether that’s weights in the garden, a quick run around the park– It can really help your motivation by exercising somewhere different. By being amongst the elements it can make you feel a connection to everything around you, sometimes can make your exercise more strenuous all work different muscles altogether. It’s a good way to see your neighbourhood, and give you good benchmarks for your fitness levels. There’s also more sports you can do outside such as water sports that challenge you in different ways mentally and physically. Taking something familiar like exercise and being outside can help us boost confidence and feel more safe within ourselves and our ability to navigate surroundings.

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