Cornwall LivingIssue #110
The power of nature
Planting the seed of happiness during Mental Health Awareness Week.
The theme for Mental Health Awareness week this year was nature. “There is evidence for the powerful benefit of nature on our mental health through its unique ability to bring consolation in times of stress,” says Emma from Bluebird Care, “and also a corresponding increase in our creativity, empathy and sense of wonder. It is not just being in nature but how we open ourselves up and interact with nature that counts.”
As Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation explains: “Nature is so central to our psychological and emotional health, that it’s almost impossible to realise good mental health for all without a greater connection to the natural world. For most of human history, we lived as part of nature. It is only in the last five generations that so many of us have lived and worked in a context that is largely separated from nature. And it is only since a 1960s study in the US found that patients who were treated in hospitals with a view of nature recovered faster, that science has started to unpack the extraordinary health benefits.”
Care providers in Cornwall, Bluebird Care, wanted to explore this idea further and to extend these benefits to both their teams and customers. By sending packets of seeds for everyone to plant together, they were able to help to sooth any stress and refocus the mind on something positive. From flowers to bring a flash of joyful colour to the garden, to tasty, easy-to-grow salad leaves, the simple art of planting and growing together enabled time to talk and express feelings as well as spending time out in the sun – which is always a bonus!
Bluebird Care are passionate about mental health awareness, and understand the positive impact that nature definitely has. Their teams and customers have not only been busy planting ‘pots of joy’ to make them smile whilst enjoying the spring sunshine, they have also been getting out and about on beautiful walks, taking in all that nature has to offer with stunning Cornish views and fields of bluebells. Time spent outdoors can’t help but make us feel that bit more positive.