Nature and our Mental Health

LBN Weekly Eco Tip #8

May 3-9th 2021 was Mental Health Awareness Week.

If you need help, support, or information regarding your emotional or mental health, go to:

CMHA.ca

MentalHealthWeek.ca

You can find your local CMHA Centre at CMHA.ca

We all know that taking a walk can help our stress levels, but did you know that bringing nature indoors can help, too? Seeking out healthy ways to reduce stress combined with naming our emotions is important for our overall health and wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Week is a Canadian tradition, with communities, schools and workplaces rallying to celebrate, protect and promote mental health.

With tools, strategies, and practice, we can learn to develop emotional literacy and protect our mental wellbeing.

COVID-19 continues to test our mental and physical wellbeing. It is vital to take care of ourselves and seek support during these unprecedented times.

Nature and Mental Health

A 2019 study in Science Advances found that spending time in nature helps our psychological wellbeing by improving sleep and reducing stress.

Further, that varied experiences in nature and the frequency of these experiences are the two most important factors for our wellbeing when connecting to nature.

Here are some lesser known ways to connect with nature even if you’re stuck inside, from Mind.Org.uk

Grow or Pick Food

Grow your own herbs or vegetable seeds from home, especially if you’re able to use a balcony or other outdoor space.

If you live in a city, you can often find community gardens or communal herb gardens, especially in roundabouts, with a variety of herbs to pick!

Take care of a “living” lettuce, herb, or other produce that can often be found at your local grocery store.

Bring Nature Inside

Start a terrarium of found items from walks, such as dried leaves, pinecones, flowers, tree bark, etc. Place your treasures somewhere you can easily see, such as at your desk or by your bed.

Create a nature photo collage on your wall to immerse yourself in your favourite outdoor spaces.

Listen to nature sounds, such as bird song, whales, rain, summer crickets, etc. There are apps, YouTube videos, and Spotify playlists to explore.

Try this before bed to go into a relaxing, deep sleep.

Help the Environment

Build a mason bee house and hang it outside your window to see these docile bees as they pollinate your neighbourhood.

Do the same with a hummingbird feeder!

Bring gloves and a bag on walks to collect trash around your area and keep green spaces green.

Bike to places you would usually drive to. Allow yourself to slow down and enjoy your surroundings on your commute!

If you need an additional reason to cycle, Bike-to-Work Day is May 21st!

Find more tips and ideas at Mind.Org.ukCMHA.caand at MentalHealthWeek.ca

Have more tips and suggestions?
Send us a message!


Sources:

Bratman, Gregory N. et al. “Nature and mental health: An ecosystem service perspective.” Sciences Advances, Vol. 5, no. 7, 24 Jul 2019 – https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/7/eaax0903

Canadian Mental Health Association – CMHA.ca

Mental Health Week – MentalHealthWeek.ca

Mind UK – https://www.mind.org.uk/media-a/2931/nature-and-mental-health-2018.pdf


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