Mental health in March. As I have already shared earlier this month, Spring is here, and we are physically and mentally cleaning out. Some of you may be exploring detoxing through diet, others cleaning out the home and garden in preparation for the bright summer flowers and lighter feeling in the air. Windows are open to let in the fresh air.
I am creating space
In the diary to visit the gym, tone up that uncomfortable middle section, and retrieve my growing waist.
On a more serious note, I started this month looking at celebration/awareness days that seem to be growing in popularity:
March, there were 35 awareness days
Six were for mental health.
I want to draw your attention to something slightly different. These are not officially mental health days.
20th Spring equinox, 21st International Forest Day and the 30th is Take a walk in the park day.
These days are asking you to connect with nature and get out and move.
Isn’t it great that the weather has improved, and we can now get out with lighter jackets and a scarf?
I recently took a four-day trip to see a friend in Spain. Well! What can I say? I was hoping to explore the area and see rural Spain. Unfortunately, it rained incessantly. I had been confined for the most between the Casa and my Hotel room. It rained day and night. After four days, I felt a little crazy and was happy to return home, where I was able to get outside. I was not bothered by the rain; I find the sound quite relaxing.
Mental Health and being outdoors
There have been research studies on the connection between being in nature and mental well-being, with the consensus that nature positively impacts our mental health.
Times have changed
Over the last 50 – 100 years, society has built towns and cities that have become overcrowded with less green space where we can take exercise. Millennia bought the age of technology with many people of all ages able to work from an office block or their homes.
Then came the PC consoles for gaming as well as the smartphone.
Mental Health declined
While all the advancements from the Industrial Revolution up to the present day have assisted in creating medicine, flying airplanes around the world, and building stunning high-rise buildings along with a myriad of inventions just too many to even begin listing. Many of these have come to make our daily lives much more manageable. Many have freed women to have careers and raise families.
But at what cost
As we advanced to the material, we left behind simple home-cooked food from the land and being outside. Instead, we crammed ourselves into areas full of houses, and as we outgrew those areas, we built more homes and more offices, and more office blocks.
Today we are connected to our laptops, smartphones the smart t.v. The all-consuming binge-watch on Netflix.
Primarily through lockdown, I became a binge-watcher of television shows. I also found time to go walking most days. I would nearly always have a conversation with others; this gave me a human connection. Unfortunately, research shows that as we have changed how we live in today’s modern society, reported poor mental health has increased.
What can you do?
Are you able in your busy day to find 10 minutes to put on your shoes and take a walk outside? Five minutes each way, I am curious how quickly you might find yourself walking for 20 minutes.
As you are walking, notice your breathing, look around you and notice maybe a flower or weed poking out of the pavement, or listen for the sound of a bird chirping in the background. You could become aware of the feeling of the air on your skin. You are becoming mindful of your surroundings and connecting from inside yourself to the environment around you. Notice that all your feelings are coming from inside you at every moment.
You create 10 minutes of feeling good as you get the body moving and raise your energy. You will find that the anxious or depressive thoughts will leave you just as quickly as they came. You can relieve yourself from overthinking for 10 minutes and allow yourself the freedom to feel good. You deserve to feel peace and joy.
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