Mental Health Awareness Week
From the 10th to the 14th it’s Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. This year will be the 21st anniversary of this global event. Given how difficult the last year has been, our mental health has never been more important.
This year’s chosen theme of ‘nature’ couldn’t be closer to our heart. Humans have a complex relationship with nature. It can relax us in ways that we aren’t always aware of. Smells, colours and the sense of freedom have a positive effect on us that we aren’t always immediately conscious of. Between the pandemic and lockdown restrictions, getting out into the fresh air and exploring local green spaces is what has got many people through.
This week shines a light on both our connection with nature and the positive impact on our mental health. Not only that, but with the new Environmental Bill about to go through parliament and the G7 Climate Conference to be held in the UK, this is an opportunity to impress on leaders and decision makers the importance of preserving nature for our collective mental health benefits.
At Truthpaste we hold our connection with nature at the core of what we do. Our aim has always been to work in harmony with it and utilise it respectfully and sustainably. In Brighton we are unbelievably fortunate to be nestled in between the rolling hills of the South Downs and the vastness of the seashore. Lockdown has meant that we have collectively swapped our lively city life for walks in the woods and strolls along the beach.
The Truthpaste team has been busy through the last year working in line with COVID restrictions to ensure we can keep you smiling. However, we’ve all been enjoying the benefits of nature whenever we can throughout the pandemic to keep our spirits up. National statistics show that nearly half the population are spending more time outside since the pandemic and our team have been no exception.
Being so close to the South Downs, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to go for walks with my bubble. The views are spectacular and it’s a great place for me to unwind and relax. I love the feeling of space and liberation that you can’t get within the city. We always stop to say hi to the local cows as well! I’m delighted that Mental Health Week is choosing to focus on the benefits of really connecting with nature. For me, it’s at the core of what I do and I truly believe that we can all benefit from spending time nurturing our relationship with it.
I have spent most of lockdown with my 5 year old son, which means that I get to experience the world through his eyes. It’s hard not to be enthusiastic when he takes so much delight in the natural world around him. Trips to the beach are never boring and walks on the downs are fascinating. The weather never puts us off, it just makes the day more interesting! Mental health is a subject very close to my heart. I’ve been very fortunate to spend lockdown in a city surrounded by so many natural spaces.
I’m up at the crack of dawn to walk my dogs in the woods. There’s a huge field where they can get all the exercise they need and then go for some lovely secluded walks through the wooded areas. My favourite time is Spring because the bluebells are out and make a beautiful blue carpet across the ground. I really feel for anyone missing their family this last year. I have a close family and I’ve missed them so much over lockdown. The woods have been a welcome escape and an oasis of calm.
Since March 2020 I had to find a new sporting activity as my tennis and indoor football suddenly stopped due to lockdown and restrictions. I dusted off my bike and began cycling.... In September 2020 I cycled a total of 78 miles, including a full circuit of the Isle of Wight. It certainly wasn't at any record breaking pace but it was a big personal achievement and not something I would have imagined achieving at the start of the year. Even in these difficult times there are always positives we can search for and new challenges we can set ourselves. I have loved the freedom, discovering beautiful countryside on my doorstep and the positive mental health benefits (required now more than ever).