Connect with Nature to boost your wellbeing

  • 15
  • May

During long months of the pandemic, millions of us have turned to nature.

Connecting with nature can play an important part in improving our mental health and making us feel better about ourselves.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, almost half of UK adults who felt stressed because of COVID-19 said that being able to visit green spaces had helped them to cope. Many studies have found links between nature, wellbeing and mental health- being outside can reduce stress, improve mood and encourage physical activity. This is why the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness week (10-16 May) is nature.

During Mental Health Awareness Week we will be posting information and tips on social media about how spending quality time with nature can boost your mood and help you feel more positive.

We’d like you to spend some time during the week to take a moment to notice and celebrate nature in your daily life. This might be as simple as tending to a house plant, listening to the birds, smelling flowers, feeling the wind on your face, going to a park, or even taking a photo or writing a poem about your favourite nature spot.

Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life. More information about things you can do to look after your wellbeing and support available can be found in our wellbeing leaflet.

What’s going on this week?

In Islington Parks
On 13 May and 18 May there are gentle history walks around Cally Park with Islington Guide, Susan.

You could also join us for a guided tour around Gillespie Park, Islington’s largest nature reserve and home to Islington’s Ecology Centre on Friday 14 May.

There will be a Covid-safe exercise for wellbeing class in Highbury Fields on Monday 17 May.

Other local activities

Mencap’s Our Radio are broadcasting a Mental Health Awareness Week special on Friday 14 May.

The Stress Project (Holloway Neighbourhood Group) are holding a  Women’s Discussion Group at The Old Fire Station on Wednesday 2pm-3.30pm and an Outdoor Mindfulness at The Stress Project’s Therapeutic Garden on Thursday 3pm-4pm.

The Parent House are holding a mindfulness session on Wednesday 12 May and a ‘Walking and Talking’ session on Friday 14 May to support Mental Health Awareness Week. To RSVP and to find out more please email mirjam@theparenthouse.co.uk

Manor Gardens are holding drop-in coffee sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 11.30am in garden of Manor Gardens Welfare Trust to meet old and new friends in an informal setting with free coffee and tea.

Are you a business? Looking after your staff during COVID webinar on 13 May 2021
There is no denying the effects COVID-19 have had on our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Not to mention the impact this has had on employers working through the various lockdowns and the changing COVID-19 restrictions.

So, for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, Camden and Islington Public Health have organised a FREE webinar with Mental Health UK, and other local employers, to share information on how you can support yourself and your staff during the pandemic. Sign-up to join the webinar on Eventbrite today! Also, if you want to share your tips for supporting staff during the pandemic, get in touch at PHComms@islington.gov.uk.

In Islington Libraries

People across Islington are invited to Take 10 to Read!

Children and adults across Islington invited to take part in national #Take10toRead challenge at 10am on Monday 10 May as part of Get Islington Reading, a local initiative by the National Literacy Trust, The Reading Agency and Islington Council Library Service.

Schools, businesses and local organisations across Islington are invited to drop everything and read for just 10 minutes, which research shows is all that is needed each day to benefit mental wellbeing. National Literacy Trust research also shows that reading has been a source of escapism for young people over the past year, supporting their mental wellbeing and enabling them to dream about the future. Children and adults are invited to pick up a book, comic, magazine, or newspaper. All participants are invited to share photos on social media using the hashtags #Take10toRead and #GetIslingtonReading, joining a national moment where over 100,000 people are expected to take part.

Find more information and register for the Take 10 event at getislingtonreading.org.uk.

Reading well

Reading Well book collections to support mental health are available to borrow in every public library in England. The Reading Agency’s expert-endorsed booklists provide helpful reading to help adults, young people and children to understand and manage their health and wellbeing. The books are selected and endorsed by health experts, as well as people with lived experience of the conditions and experiences covered and their relatives and carers. Find out how to borrow books, ebooks and audiobooks from your local library here – Islington council | Libraries and find out more about Reading Well and what books are in the collections – Reading Well

Islington Libraries also have a recommended list of ebooks and e-audio for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Time to Change Islington

Time to Change Islington is supporting Mental Health Awareness Week so please look out for us at the different events and join us in having more, and better, conversations about mental health.

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. But we don’t talk about it in the same way. If we change the way we talk about mental health it will be easier for people to ask for, or offer, help or support when it’s needed. And as we talk more about mental health we can each learn more, so people living with mental health problems face less stigma and discrimination.

So ask your loved ones how they are, and ask twice. And if you want some help or advice reach out to someone you trust.

Mental Health support for young people  

Find yourself wondering when life will get back to normal? Young people face lots of pressures in their lives, and the pandemic has only made things even more challenging. @GoodThinkingUK have launched resources and new apps to help support young Londoners through this uncertain time.

Get help and advice: www.good-thinking.uk/youngpeople

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