World Wellbeing Week...
You may have heard that this week is World Wellbeing Week. This is held every year during the last week of June and is an opportunity to raise the importance of being aware of our own mental health and wellbeing.
The Mental Health Foundation produced a report in 2021 about how connecting with nature can be beneficial for our mental health. The report found that during the pandemic, 45% of people found spending time in nature to improve their mental health, and 65% of people surveyed said they felt positive emotions from time spent in green spaces.
You can read the full report here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/2022-06/MHAW21-Nature-research-report.pdf
We understand the importance of sharing experiences and how that can help others in their own journey, so in today’s blog, our Digital Communications Co-Ordinator, Charlie, shares a little bit about her own wellbeing journey and how nature played a huge part in her recovery from a difficult time in her life. Charlie hopes that in sharing some of her story, you will be inspired to give nature a chance and seek the benefits it can provide.
“It had been a difficult few year, after losing three very close family members in fairly quick succession, and then being plunged into a global pandemic, things weren’t easy. I was a single parent trying to complete a degree from my kitchen table whilst ensuring my two young children were happy and entertained in the confines of our small new build house with no proper garden.
My mental health was beginning to crumble, and I made a risky decision to move my family from the security of our home in York, where I had friends and support, to the place I’ve always loved, North Wales. Something was calling out to me, and I felt that this could be the perfect opportunity to reconnect with myself.
I was fortunate enough to secure a job that allowed me to work from anywhere and so, whilst my children were at school, I would lace up my hiking boots and head out into the mountains of North Wales. During my first few hikes, surrounded by the stillness of the sloping surrounding, I felt the anxiety of the past few years fading away into the background. Don’t get me wrong, it was still there, but the negativity was much quieter.
The more time I spent in nature, the more curious I became about the world around me. I started to use free apps on my phone to ID plants that I would see on my hikes, I noticed birds that I’d never seen (or never paid attention to before) and once I identified one, it spiraled into a lifestyle. I felt a drop in my mood if I didn’t get outside, even if it was just pottering around the garden.
I have now relocated in the North Norfolk coast, and whilst I am not surrounded by the mountains that once saved me, I carried my new found love for the wild world with me and now spend my days exploring the stunning Norfolk coast line.
As a child, I had always been outside making mud pies, collecting worms and pond dipping, but as a lot of people experience, once adulthood got hold of me, I lost that sense of wonder. Nature found me at a time when I needed to find myself and showed me that whatever is happening in my life, there is a huge, beautiful world out there just waiting for us to explore.”