Mental health awareness week 2021

Mental health awareness week takes place from the 10th – 16th May, and following successive lockdowns this year’s theme, focusing on nature and the environment, feels more important than ever for our mental health.

How does nature help us?

Being closer to nature is thought to improve both our physical and mental health through the idea of biophilia, that is, humans have an evolutionary closeness to natural spaces. Walking and exercising outdoors, or even being around animals can have a positive effect on your mental health, it can help:

  • Improve your mood
  • Reduce stress or feelings of anger
  • Improve your confidence
  • increase physical activity
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Resources such as Mind recommend spending time in green spaces to help manage illnesses like depression and anxiety - from growing and picking your own food to outdoor activities and helping the environment, there are plenty of ideas to help you get out and into nature. [see article].

What our own people say

We all experience nature differently and have very different reasons for wanting to connect with it more. We recently caught up with some of our own team to find out what they’ve been doing over the past year to help improve their mental health:

Jack Pattison, RPS Water

Nature is a big part of my life, I love to be outdoors, whether it's camping or fishing or just for a day of rest. It’s my alone time, most of us are surrounded by technology, making us constantly available, so I find that getting back to nature is the best way to get away from all that. The fresh air, the grounding, having bare feet on the earth, cooking over an open fire, all of this helps me to release any tensions and recharge my mental health. The weather can be a barrier to spending time outside in a natural environment for some ... but for those, I offer this quote: "There is no such thing as bad weather, there is only bad preparation.

I'm not a fan of online motivational quotes but I do like the one that says,

"There is no wifi in the forest, but I promise you will find a better connection."

Janette Stuart, Occupational Health

“I find just walking through the woods or along the canal, as long as I am outside, cheers me up - you can't feel down when you are amongst nature.”

Janette Dundon, Human Resources

“I’ve put a bird feeder outside and find that watching the birds, especially now it’s spring, is quite relaxing and also interesting. I have also invested in some lavender for my pots outside which not only smells nice but is good for the bees.”

Sam Boyce, Occupational Health

“Sometimes it’s not always easy to access nature, particularly through lockdown so I brought the nature indoors and started bonsai. I have twelve saplings from five different varieties on the go at the moment - my new hobby is a long-term process that reminds you that there is no need to rush.”

How can we help?

When employees enjoy robust physical and mental health, they are happier, motivated, productive, and more resilient. They’re also less prone to absenteeism and more likely to stay with your organisation for longer.

Our health and wellbeing coaching workshops are here to support managers and employees cope with life’s daily struggles. They can be conducted on an individual and/or group level basis, based on proactive education events or structured wellbeing programmes to suit your needs. These are delivered by our experienced occupational health physicians and wellbeing advisors.

Get in touch and find out how we can help you and you team

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