Mental Health Awareness Week – connecting to nature, locally
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (10 – 16 May) has the theme of connecting with nature. With the stresses of assignments and revision, spending time outdoors around natural surroundings can help detox your mind and re-energize your mental wellbeing.
Here’s some top tips to #ConnectWithNature from Amy Stallard, a Wellbeing Practitioner from the university’s Student Wellbeing Team.
If you have your own favourite ways to connect to nature, why not share your experiences with us on social media and we’ll post your photos and tips throughout the week on our ‘Feel You Belong’ web page.
Brighton and Hove have a number of great green spaces with Stanmer Park near the Falmer campus offering great woodland walks, Preston Park being the largest urban park in the city and Queens Park offering a lovely wildlife garden.
Eastbourne also has some great outdoors spaces with Hampden Park offering a pond and arboretum. Whether you want a space to exercise or just relax with a friend, why not check out your local park.
By the sea
We’re lucky to have wonderful seafronts in Brighton and Eastbourne – a perfect place to take a breather in the day.
National park – South Downs
With the South Downs on the doorstep, the National Trust have some great free downloadable walks to discover. If you live near our Falmer site then why not try this beautiful walk around Stanmer and Ditchling Beacon.
Why not bring a bit of greenery and nature indoors with a houseplant? Not only do they look great but they also improve the air quality around you, boosting concentration and productivity. A few fresh herb plans can not only brighten up your kitchen but also bring some great flavours to your cooking. Show us your houseplants using the Mental Health Awareness Week #ConnectWithNature
Even if its just watching the clouds out of your window, spending a few moments noticing and acknowledging the natural world around us can fill you with awe and wonder.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, the Mental Health Foundation have produced a free downloadable Nature Journal to help you think about how your mental health is impacted by nature.
Learn more about nature
Learning more about what we see and hear can be a great way to further our connection with nature. Try learning common birdsong and keep an ear out for what’s nearby.
Take advantage of some great projects available locally. The Grow Project encourages people to get outdoors, connect with nature and improve their wellbeing. They offer a range of different days to support people to get into nature with others. The Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project also runs a therapeutic garden project for people of all abilities.