12 May Bee the Change for Mental Health Week
The third in a series of articles for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 in the UK, May 10th-May 16th, spotlighting how getting off screens and getting out into nature boosts our mental health.
The Power of Nature for Mental Health
This past year has been challenging for us all. But throughout it all, nature has been by our side. We may now appreciate our local outdoor spaces even more, having had to rely on them as the location to meet friends and family. and just. Natural spaces have consistently given us an opportunity to experience some fleeting normality, and have been a saving grace.
Nature has been a welcome respite from the pandemic and the virtual world we have found ourselves living in. However, even without a pandemic, green spaces do wonders for our mental health. There are so many health benefits to getting – and staying – outside. For mental health in particular, spending time in nature has been found to improve sleep, alleviate stress and increase all-round happiness.
Bee bumblebee friendly
Bumblebees are crucial for our green spaces to thrive. They pollinate the plants, allowing new generations to spread and grow, and occupy an important role in the ecosystem and food chains. Without bumblebees, our natural spaces cannot survive.
However, due to urbanisation and the loss of our green spaces, the number of flowers around for bees to feed on is steadily declining. This means that bumblebees have less food available, and are therefore under threat of dying out as a species. Therefore, we need to step in and ensure there are enough green spaces and plants to let the bumblebees survive.
But bumblebee-friendly spaces are not only beneficial to insects; they can have a tremendous positive impact on our own wellbeing as well. Natural spaces boost our mental health. The more green spaces that we protect and nurture, the better access we have to nature and the benefits it brings us.
This is especially the case if you are designing and curating your own. Gardening is a fantastic analogue activity: it gets you off your screen, away from the distractions of technology, and into the open air. It offers non-strenuous exercise and time to think. We have always encouraged practical and tactical activities so that you have something to occupy your hands and mind, reducing the chance that you will reach for your phone.
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust
The Bumblebee Conservation Trust aims to protect and enhance bumblebee habitats and food supplies by encouraging the incorporation of plants and green space into towns and cities. They are a micro-actions campaign, encouraging local action. This makes it easy for you to make a tangible difference in your area.
For both yours and the bees benefit, we encourage you to do your bit to help bees survive. Whether this is through planting flowers, creating ‘bee havens’, or spreading awareness, you can make your area more bee-friendly, thereby supporting the local ecosystems and protecting nature. Take a look at The Bumbleebee Conservation Trust to find out how you can “bee the change”.
Support the work of The Bumblebee Conservation Trust and The Mental Health Foundation
The action you take will protect your mental health in the long term, but also boost it immediately. Dedicating time to educational or tactical tasks is a fantastic way to break away from technology and give yourself some some headspace. For more information on how to protect our mental health, visit The Mental Health Foundation.
For more suggestions on managing your relationship with tech to benefit your mental health, take a look at our new book ‘My Brain Has Too Many Tabs Open‘.