Dudley Mind - Working across the Black Country

Mental Health Awareness Week - Connect with Nature


Connect with nature

Today is the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, this year’s theme is nature.


After spending almost whole year in lockdown, getting outside and connecting with nature has never been more important for our mental health. We have all been stuck in doors for a long time, distancing ourselves from our friends, family, and other people in general.


COVID is still an issue and sticking to restrictions is important. However, take the opportunity this week to get outside (sticking to restrictions) and connect with nature. Take the time to take in the surroundings, the trees swaying, flowers blooming, the birds in the trees, and the water in the rivers flowing.


Spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. For example, doing things like growing food or flowers, exercising outdoors or being around animals can have lots of positive effects. It can:



  • improve your mood

  • reduce feelings of stress or anger

  • help you take time out and feel more relaxed

  • improve your physical health

  • improve your confidence and self-esteem

  • help you be more active

  • help you make new connections

  • provide peer support.


 



 

What can you do this week?

The Black Country is home to some amazing nature reserves, take the chance to visit some of them this week:


Dudley
https://www.dudley.gov.uk/things-to-do/nature-reserves/


Sandwell
https://www.sandwell.gov.uk/info/200248/parks_and_green_spaces/2313/nature_reserves


Walsall
https://go.walsall.gov.uk/nature_reserves


Wolverhampton
https://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/visiting/parks-green-spaces-and-nature-reserves/nature-reserves


As well as local nature reserves, you could also take a walk around many of the local parks. Maybe even make yourself a nice picnic and spend some time with a friend (socially distanced) outside.


We also have a beautiful spot at Wollescote Walled Gardens, within Wollescote Park - home to our horticulture project which is open to members of the public during the daytime. If you would like support for your mental health and to connect to nature more often, you can join the project which takes place weekly on a Monday and Tuesday. If you are interested in joining the project, please contact Liz via email at liz.norton@dudleymind.org.uk


Our monthly walking group starts back again on Saturday 22nd of May, although this is after Mental Health Awareness Week it is something you can take part in to keep yourself connected to nature. If you would be interested in joining our walking group, please contact Simon via email at simon.bennett@dudleymind.org.uk or by calling 01384 685062.


As well our gardening project, we also have our free 12 week Jolly Joggers couch to 5k programme which takes part at West Park, Wolverhampton, on a Saturday morning. Taking part in Jolly Joggers will give you the opportunity to be outside amongst nature as well as the opportunity to get some exercise time and improve your fitness, both of which have a great benefits to your mental health. The next available Jolly Joggers group will be starting sometime this summer.


Whatever you do this Mental Health Awareness Week, share with us on social media. Take a picture of yourself whilst you are out and about, or take a picture of nature that resonates with you.


You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin


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The Mind Hub

Bushey Fields Hospital

Bushey Fields Road

Dudley

DY1 2LZ

01384 685060

enquiries@dudleymind.org.uk