Hannah Mentor for Care Leavers aged 16-25 Stroud Cheltenham GloucesterMay is national walking month, so with just 4 weeks to go we asked Hannah, one of The Door’s School Mentors to explore the link between getting out for a walk and good mental health.

Have you ever considered that our health is related to the environment we find ourselves in?

At The Door we often talk about how traumatic experiences in our pasts can have a lasting impact on both our emotional and physical health. But have you also considered that the environment plays a part as well. Lockdown showed us all that being cooped up inside can have a real impact on how we feel.

While we can’t change our past or what happened to us or others. There is always hope that we can build on going forwards. There are in fact things that we can do ourselves to improve our ‘right now’ and help others do the same. And better yet, it’s free! 

Research has found that being in nature and doing activities outside can have positive effects on mental health concerns such as anxiety and mild to moderate depression. Many of us live in the Cotswolds where we can find an abundance of green spaces that we can visit. There are even plenty of parks easily reached from inner-city Gloucester!

With so much nature on our doorstep, what are we waiting for?

There are so many reasons why being outside can be beneficial. The ‘great outdoors’ can help us become more mindful taking away the usual day to day distractions. Getting out and being active or engaging in exercise helps us not only look after our physical wellbeing but our social needs and mental health too. The list could go on and on.

Before cars, mobile phones and computers, humans were deeply connected to their environment. Engaging more with the plants, animals and people that lived around them. People knew which plants grew where, when to harvest and how to care for our wildlife.

In our often rushed world, finding time to sit or walk in nature or just look around, feels like a luxury. But if we actually took the time to observe nature, this amazing thing that we are a part of, not separate too, we could be benefitting our health, that of the earth and of others too.

Doesn’t that sound appealing? Especially as the weather starts to warm up this spring.

Sometimes we all need a little motivation to do something new, or to keep up our new habits.

So do you need more connection to nature? Do you want to get active while also being outside and building community?

Consider joining The Door’s #100KinMay challenge, join the community of walkers, runners and cyclists. Get out and about while helping raise funds to continue the important and much-needed work we do in our community.

Find out more at thedoor.org.uk/100kinmay or jump straight in and join the Facebook group today

Healthy Enviroment

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