Mental health can affect any person at any time, but 10th October each year is marked at World Mental Health Day. Each year, people are encouraged to recognise the impacts that our day-to-day lives and events around the world have on our mental health and to understand the small steps that we can take to take care of ourselves.
Looking after your mental health
Firstly, it’s important to say that if your symptoms are so bad that you can’t live a normal life, you should always see your GP for support and advice.
Mental health can affect anyone, and to varying degrees. Here are some steps you can take to make sure that you are taking care of yourself.
Spending more time outside
The benefits of spending time in nature are well known and getting outdoors in the fresh air has positive effects on your mental health.
Recently, a study with the University of Westminster and the University of Essex showed the benefits TCV’s Green Gyms can have on health and wellbeing. The study reported that Green Gym participants showed significant increases in wellbeing and gave evidence of the benefits of community nature-based activities.
Reducing stress levels and making connections within your local area are just some of the positive side effects of spending time in the great outdoors.
There is no doubt that being active outdoors in places full of greenery and wildlife is so beneficial for mental and physical health.”TCV Volunteer
Learn a new skill
During lockdown, many of us took to learning new things to keep ourselves occupied such as baking, cooking, or using it as an opportunity to get back into reading. However, there are many skills that you can learn at home that will also have a positive impact not only on your mental health, but the environment too.
Head over to TCV’s YouTube channel for a whole host of ‘How To’ videos that will provide you with a new skill that can help the wildlife in your local area.
The feel-good factor that comes from helping others in need has a positive effect on your mental health. At TCV, we offer volunteering sessions whilst following guidelines to keep our sessions safe, protecting our volunteers and staff.
Protecting and caring for your local green spaces is one way to ensure that you’re helping your local environment, improving your mental and physical health and potentially providing an accessible and relaxing space for someone else who is suffering from similar issues.
Getting outside and actively participating (in) conservation tasks has helped with my physical and mental health …helping me connect with the environment and appreciate the beauty of nature”TCV Volunteer.
With everything that is going on in the world right now, it can be difficult to focus on the little things. The small everyday things that bring us joy. Whether it be walking through your local park and noticing the plants, the trees, and the birds. Or it is perhaps sitting down with a good book, a cup of tea and listening to the wind blow outside. Whatever the small things that bring you joy are, taking a few minutes of your day to appreciate them and revel in them does wonders for your mental health.
Connect with people
Many of our volunteers tell us that the social connectivity that comes from volunteering is something that really helps with their mental health. We live in a time where staying digitally connected is easier than ever before and yet actually getting out and seeing people and talking to them can be much reduced with online connectivity.
Volunteering with a local group helps to bring people together with a shared focus on helping communities and the environment. Join, in, feel good.
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