The pandemic had a significant impact on the British population’s mental health. In 2020, we stayed at home for long periods and spent less time in nature than many would have preferred. The benefits of nature for our health and wellbeing are widely known, and in 2021 we should make more time for the great outdoors.
Lockdown had a devastating impact on many people. In fact, the mental health charity, Mind said more than half of adults in the UK found their mental health worsened during the pandemic. The lockdown restrictions were a significant contributor to the nation’s declining mental health. In the pandemic, two-thirds of adults were impacted by loneliness and boredom. However, one-third of adults did not access support in lockdown because they felt they did not deserve it. Many adults struggling with their mental health also said they did not feel comfortable accessing support over video and phone calls.
In 2021, many of us intend to spend more time outdoors so we can reap the benefits of nature. Our surrounding environment can impact our blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and immune system. A natural environment can soothe anxious thoughts and distract us from pain and discomfort. 95% of adults in the Mind study found their mood improved when they spent time outdoors. They became calmer and more balanced when outside and away from technology.
Time in nature can increase our attention span and help us to focus on the present moment. Natural scenes can give our minds a little break and help us feel more connected to the world around us.
‘Nature deprivation’ is associated with depressive symptoms. When we spend too much time indoors, watching TV, or working on laptops, our minds can become overworked and exhausted. Take a walk in the fresh air every day to give yourself a break.
So, where should you go to the UK to spend more time outdoors?
Take a train to West Sussex and see the Seven Sisters. Explore the chalk cliffs, soak in the fresh air, and experience one of England’s great sites.
Or head to Devon and visit the famous Jurassic Coast. The Jurassic Coast is the only Natural World Heritage Site in England and dates back to the Triassic and Jurassic periods.
If you fancy a more mountainous trip, head to Snowdonia in Wales. You can hike up the mountain in three to four hours and catch the train back down. Enjoy the breath-taking views from the top, and make sure to take a few pictures while you’re up there.
Have you booked a staycation in nature for this year?
*Disclosure: Collaborative Post
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