This week (10-16 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week with the theme of nature.
During long months of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature. Research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies and 45% of us reported being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health. Wider studies also found that during lockdowns, people not only spent more time in nature but were noticing it more.
What you can do
During Mental Health Awareness Week, here are some suggestions to help you connect more deeply with nature:
- Take time to experience nature: can you find at least ten minutes each day to go outside and surround yourself with nature? If you go past a green space in your daily routine, try slowing down and really noticing what you see.
- Look, listen and share: as you notice the natural world around you, you could take a photo, video or sound recording and share with others to remind them to slow down and look more closely? You can use the hashtags #ConnectWithNature #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and look these up on social media if you are stuck indoors and need a nature boost from others.
- Express what connecting with nature means to you: as you find new ways to connect with nature in your local environment, you could describe this experience in words, or writing, or art – perhaps you can create something that reminds you of the calm nature can bring to keep or give as a gift.
For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit the Mental Health Awareness website or join the conversation on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
What’s on at Kent?
During this week and the Summer Term there are lots of events you can join to connect with others and support your wellbeing, including:
- Weekly Student mindfulness sessions led by counsellor and mindfulness teacher Lorraine
- ‘Understanding your bereavement- holding on, letting go’ workshop (11 May)
- ‘Ecotherapy’ workshop (12 May)
- ‘Finding friends and coping with loneliness at university’ workshop (19 May)
- ‘6 ways to wellbeing’ workshop (19 May)
- ‘Practical ways to better sleep’ workshop (21 May)
- ‘Coping with anxiety and stress’ workshop (26 May)
- ‘Stress management’ workshop (26 May)
- ‘Five weeks to self-confidence’ (5 sessions starting 2 June)
See more events to support your wellbeing.
How to get help if you’re struggling?
If you feel as though you could benefit from extra support mental health support from the University, you can access services from the Counselling team, check out the self-help resource list or see our Emergency Support.
Remember, our Student Support and Wellbeing Team operate during the Summer Term and vacation period so you can access support when you need it.