It is Mental Health Awareness Week!

mental health awareness week

Mental Health Awareness Week is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and each year a different theme is set. This year, the theme is nature and hence, we thought we would incorporate this into a blog post. We have got our thinking caps on and composed a little something on how individuals can use nature in hope to improve their mental health and well-being…and essentially contribute to eating disorder recovery.

What benefits can nature have?

Spending time in nature has been proven to help mental health conditions such as depression & anxiety. Some of the benefits include…improving mood, aiding relaxation, boosting confidence & self-esteem and improving social connections. A study in 2015 looked at brain activity of two groups- one walking in a natural setting & one in an urban. The results concluded that those walking in nature had less activity in the prefrontal cortex- usually active in rumination- repetitive thoughts & focus on negative emotions.

What can you do to connect with nature?

Our environments play a crucial part in our mental wellbeing. Here are some of TEDS tips of incorporating nature into your daily lives…

1 – Grow your own

Planting a seed and nurturing it to grow can help you understand the healthy balance that we need to thrive. Growing your own veg can be a rewarding experience that you can nourish your own body with.

2 – Outdoor Activity

TEDS understand that activity is important in a healthy life, however we are mindful that it should be purposeful & not driven by an Eating Disorder. Spending time outside does not need to be busy but can include being mindful to your surroundings. Vitamin D from the sun is also important as a lack of this can cause fatigue which has been linked to depression.

3 – Using the senses

A helpful technique when using nature in recovery is the 5 senses strategy. When outside think of the following; 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste

We encourage you to focus on how you can use nature this week and don’t forget to keep us updated on the results!

Rachael & Clare

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