14 May Log Off and Reconnect With Trees in Cities This Mental Health Week
- Get off Screens and Connect with Nature for Mental Health Week
- Get Out Into the Wild for Mental Health Week
- Bee the Change for Mental Health Week
- Get Off Screens and Swim Outside for Mental Health Week
- Log Off and Reconnect With Trees in Cities This Mental Health Week
The fifth 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
All throughout this week with our blogs on Mental Health Awareness Week we have focused on the benefits that nature can bring. Any time spent in nature, whether it’s tending to your garden to support the bee population, helping to rewild a corner or your neighbourhood, taking a dip in some freezing natural water or even just going for a wander, can have a massive positive impact on your emotional state.
The NHS website is full of reasons that spending time in nature is good for us. So, this Mental Health Awareness Week we are challenging you to get back to nature.
Getting off screens and getting outside
The first step to truly experiencing the joys of the outdoors is to put down your screen. Many of us try to spend time outside regularly, enjoying the weather and appreciating natural beauty, but how often do we do so without our screens? Are you guilty of taking your phone out at the first opportunity to take photos? Or perhaps you are always listening to music or a podcast? You could even be scrolling social media as you walk through the world, unaware. None of these habits will help you get the most out of nature.
So- step 1: leave your phone at home.
The power of connecting with trees
Trees are amazing. Not only do they look gorgeous they also provide many much needed benefits to us. They purify the air, prevent soil erosion, slow water runoff, buffer noise pollution and even increase house prices. And yet we are cutting them down at ever-increasing rates. In the last few decades we have cut down nearly 20% of the Amazon rainforest as well as 47% of all trees on earth. We are rapidly losing one of our most precious resources. As urbanisation increases we are also losing places to plant those trees, and city-dwellers in particular are losing access to their benefits.
Trees for Cities
This is where Trees for Cities steps in. They are the only UK charity working in this space, specifically improving the health and wellbeing of people in cities through the reintroduction of trees in urban spaces. They have already planted over 1 million trees and have projects in 26 cities, with plans to plant another 100,000 this year alone. They also get kids involved through their ‘edible playground’ projects which target improving the health of school kids through getting them involved in working with their hands outside, as well as learning about sustainable methods for agriculture.
Support the work of Trees for Cities and The Mental Health Foundation
With trees so important for our health, across the whole spectrum of living locations – rural to urban – we want to encourage you to make time to find and visit your nearest tree-filled spaces when you log off over the next few months. If you live in a city and want to do more to support initiatives to increase trees in urban areas, or to explore more about boosting mental health have a look at the work of the two organisations featured; The Mental Health Foundation and Trees for Cities. Now, put away your screen, go outside and look up at a tree right now. Enjoy.
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‘.