Today is World Mental Health Day! Mental Health problems can affect anyone, young or old, at any time in their life. 10th October is a great opportunity to show your support for better mental health, to help raise mental health awareness and start looking after your own mental well-being.
Did you know that spending just 15 minutes a day in the outdoors can work wonders for your mental health?
Spending time outside can reduce stress and anxiety, increase level of 'good-feeling' chemicals in your body, and can even improve memory! In addition to better mental health, spending time in the outdoors is also great for your physical health. 30 minutes of cardiovascular fitness a day, through hiking, jogging or cycling, can dramatically decrease your risk of heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure.
Here are 7 top mental and physical health benefits of spending time outside:
1. Better concentration - Writing an essay? Revising for an exam? Working hard in the office? Even a short 10 minute walk in the park will boost your concentration levels and increase productivity.
2. Reduce your anxiety levels - Shifting from high pressured environments to natural views will dramatically decrease your levels of stress and anxiety.
3. Get a great night's sleep (ZZZzz) - It has been scientifically proven that spending time in the outdoors can help you nod off quickly and sleep more deeply for longer!
4. Make new friends - By joining a local running club, or hiking group, you can expand your social circle and meet new people. What's more to like?
5. Lower your risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes - Need we say more? Spending just 30 minutes in the outdoors a day can provide a plethora of physical health benefits!
6. Feel better about ... well, everything! - Sometimes life can feel stressful and overwhelmingly busy. Deadlines, endless job lists and daily pressures can make your head feel like it might explode! Stepping outside and exploring the natural landscape can help put everything into perspective, and help your regain that sense of control.
7. Reconnect with nature - Most importantly, being outdoors can rekindle your love for nature. If you live in an urban environment, or regularly work in an office, it's easy to forget the amazing sights and sounds of nature!
Take a look at our 'Mindfulness in the Outdoors' resource sheet for inspiration.