The theme for this years Mental Health Awareness Week is a topic close to our hearts; nature and mental health. According to The Mental Health foundation more than half of UK adults say that being in touch with nature has brought more joy to their lives.
It turns out that it is not just being in nature but how we open ourselves up and interact with nature that counts. Even the smallest contact with nature can reduce feelings of social isolation and be effective in protecting our mental health, and preventing distress.
Reconnect to Nature
In order to open yourself up to nature you have to learn how to distance yourself from the everyday hustle and bustle. It’s about becoming aware of what’s around you by engaging all your senses, allowing yourself to truly appreciate nature without any distractions. We are busy creatures that, thanks to technology, are now incessantly fed huge amounts of information through social media. It’s no wonder we’ve fallen out of touch with the beautiful simplicity our planet has to offer and find it hard to get away from this constant expectation! Perhaps it’s not always about ‘switching off’ entirely but training our minds to be active in a different way? Let’s stimulate our senses with the wonders of the natural world rather than digest everything through a screen.
Allow yourself to be alone
You must think we’re mad telling you to find some alone time after the isolating year we’ve just had… and in some ways you’re right because human connection is just as important as our connection with nature. However, being alone doesn’t have to be lonely, and we hope the past year has also taught you how important it is to take time for yourself. The more in touch we are with ourselves, the more we can embrace nature. Nobody is watching you, distracting you or manipulating your view point. It’s just you and the magical world around you. Allow those judgemental thoughts to slip away as you focus on that insect scurrying along or the breeze whistling in the trees. It’s invigorating right?!
Be open to experiencing the extraordinary
Of course if you’re out in the countryside or near the sea this kind of connection may come more easily to you. But what about those of us who live in big cities, surrounded by concrete walls? We may feel like we have to really seek this link and this is where our perception of nature has been skewed over time. It actually doesn't take a lot to find it because it's literally everywhere, we just have to be open to experiencing it in a way that makes sense to us and our surroundings! You could pop to your nearest park or community garden or you could simply look out of your window at the clouds. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Whatever nature means to you, however you feel comfortable opening yourself up to it. Make sure you are doing what makes you feel good and you will feel the benefits!
Our goal at Bloombox Club has always been to help bring nature indoors. Houseplants are a really lovely way of tying your inside space to the outside world. Allow the air around you to be cleansed as you sleep or watch as your plant grows a little more every day. Nature is incredible, so why enjoy it indoors and out! Try turning your attention to your green friends this week and give them a little TLC and if you're looking for some new plants to brighten up your mood and your mind, we have got you covered!