GoodOaks News | 8 November 2022

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 – Why nature is important and why you shouldn’t put pressure on yourself to return to the ‘new normal’ too fast.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 - Why nature is important and why you shouldn’t put pressure on yourself to return to the ‘new normal’ too fast.

Keeping fit and healthy mentally is as important as keeping healthy physically. Many organisations like the NHS have been urging people to take care of their mental health as the last year of worries about Covid-19, furlough and lockdown have caused concern for millions.

Protecting nature, and our mental health

This Mental Health Awareness Week (May 10 to May 16, 2021,) organisations and charities are encouraging people to talk about how the last year has affected them. The Mental Health Foundation which organises Mental Health Awareness Week has chosen nature as the theme of the 2021 week. Their study indicates that 45% of people said that being out in nature was vital to their mental health during the Covid-19 Pandemic. This year they are urging people to connect with nature and put pressure on decision makers to ensure nature is protected, so that we can all have a healthier future.

This is something we feel passionately about at GoodOaks Homecare. We are the UK’s first carbon-neutral franchising care provider. We work with the company Carbon Footprint to offset our impact. We are also involved in tree planting initiatives in both the UK and the Amazon Rainforest – with a net carbon gain for the planet – as we plant more than we need to. We believe that a healthy, sustainable planet is good for us all.

At GoodOaks Homecare, we also believe it is important to spend the time people need with them; sometimes just having a cup of tea and listening to someone is the most important thing to do. We spend time with people and make sure they feel listened to and that they don’t feel rushed. Adopting good coping mechanisms and prioritising mental health is important, now more than ever. We ensure that our care professionals feel supported and able to talk if they need to, so that they never feel alone.

How to use nature to help this Mental Health Awareness Week

The Mental Health Foundation are encouraging everyone to go outside and enjoy nature however they can, and take notice of it, talk about it and share their experiences using the hashtags #ConnectWithNature #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.

Sitting in a garden or watching a window box buzzing with bees has been shown to help lift mood.

What if you have concerns as Lockdown restrictions ease?

2020 has been tough for many, people have been separated from loved ones and many have been isolating and shielding for a year or more. Against this background, people may feel concerned about returning to the ‘new normal.’ Many people who are vulnerable or elderly may have concerns about Covid and safety and may feel that returning to the way things were before feels too much too soon. Charity Mind have highlighted ways to ease anxiety as restrictions lift, they can be read here. However, it is important to know that it is OK not to feel OK. There is no one way to feel or be. It is important that everyone look out for those who may be feeling more vulnerable and be mindful that not everyone may be excited to see restrictions ease. People may feel anxious about the future, and so it is important to ensure that everyone follows the rules – Keep washing your hands, wear a face mask and keep social distancing.

Would you like help and support for your loved one?

At GoodOaks Homecare, we are dedicated to providing home care visits with compassion and dignity. If you would like more information about our care or how you can join our caring team, please contact us here.