It's Mental Health Awareness Week (10th to 16th May) and the theme this year is nature.
For us here at Country Living, the ideas of mental health and the great outdoors go hand in hand so, this week, we've got a great line-up of celebrities and enthusiasts sharing tips on how you can truly use nature to improve your wellbeing. It's about SO much more than simply going for a walk.
Our Nature and My Mental Health video series will go live on Instagram throughout the week, and right here on the website. You'll hear from:
Ray Mears: How to be still internally
Woodsman, explorer and author Ray Mears tells us how to be still, both internally and externally, when we are outdoors. Ray says we need to "allow nature into our hearts" and become passive receivers of the sights, sounds and activities. It's a mindfulness and forest bathing masterclass.
CL's Emma-Louise Pritchard: Learning about local badgers
Country Living's executive digital editor Emma-Louise Pritchard introduces us to her local badger sett. To feel productive, purposeful and learn about her local habitats, Emma-Louise has been heading into woodland with a wildlife camera. For someone who regularly experiences anxiety, Emma-Louise has found solace in education. And yes, we'll see the badger footage, too.
Iolo Williams: Opening your garden up to wildlife
Springwatch's Iolo Williams will share tips on how we can encourage wildlife into our gardens. He calls it a "win, win." Nature and wildlife will benefit and so will our mental and physical health.
CL's Sarah Barratt: How to turn a city balcony in an allotment
Country Living's Features Writer Sarah Barratt has turned her London flat balcony into a thriving allotment, proving that you don't need a big space to reap the benefits of sowing and growing. Sarah says it's been a "game changer" for her mental health and has helped her overcome feeling frazzled and anxious.
Frances Tophill: Gardening for your mental health
Love Your Garden and Gardeners' World presenter Frances Tophill will take a closer look at what we can do when gardening to boost our wellbeing. The benefits, she says, "can't be quantified."
Shepherdess Zoë Colville: Caring for animals and your mind
Hairdresser turned farmer Zoë Colville, aka The Chief Shepherdess, tells her story of leaving life in the city after a tumultuous year in her personal life that threatened her state of mind. To protect her mental health, Zoë became a full-time farmer and says that caring for animals, nurturing them and being outdoors every day has saved her.
Make sure to follow the videos on Instagram and share with us your own methods of using nature to improve your mental health, boost your mood and feel inner calm.
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