Mental Health Awareness Week 2021: Nature and the Environment
Welcome to our inaugural blog! It’s be a couple of months since our website launch, and things have been crazy to say the least. Thank you so much for all the support, recommendations and kind words we have received so far. It is hugely important to us at Ember Coaching to offer resources, hints and tips to all. Everyone deserves access to wellbeing support, regardless of affordability. Where we see an opportunity, we will do our best to provide this.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 and the theme for this year is Nature and the Environment. This is particularly close to our hearts as we have integrated Walk & Talk Coaching into our practice. We are lucky to have 2 beautiful locations on our doorstep where we work from – Denbies Wine Estate and Nonsuch Park in Surrey. Working outdoors not only affords the benefits of being in a ‘green’ environment, but also enables some more subtle aspects such as slowing down the pace of a conversation and confronting difficult topics without the intensity of online face to face. It’s incredibly powerful to observe the body, the hurriedness, the breathlessness in stress, or equally the languor and disinterest in depression. Being outdoors can help to engage these feelings and work with them.
Just to remind ourselves about the benefits of being in nature, here are some stats from the Mental Health Foundation (full video here):
· More than half of UK adults said that being close to nature improved their mental health
· 4 in 10 people say it made them feel less worried or anxious
· 2/3 of people said being close to nature made them experience positive emotions
There’s plenty of science behind it too: According to research from the University of East Anglia spending time in green spaces can ‘reduce the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth and increases sleep duration’ as well as ‘significantly reducing people’s level of…cortisol – a physiological marker of stress’.
Business Insider details these 12 key reasons why being outside is so important:
Walking in nature could improve your short term memory
Being outdoors has a demonstrated de-stressing effect
Spending time outside reduces inflammation
Enjoying the outdoors helps eliminate fatigue
Outdoor experiences may help fight depression and anxiety
Being outside may protect your vision
Spending time outside lowers blood pressure
It could improve your ability to focus
You may perform better on creative tasks after being outside
Outdoor sessions may even help prevent cancer
Forests also might boost your immune system
Outdoor time is associated with a lower overall risk of early death
Colour psychologist Karen Haller explains how we ‘see more variations of green than any other colour’, and how this impacts us on a fundamental primitive level as an indicator of the provision of life. Green is what we thirst for in our desert.
Working 1-1 outdoors brings a fresh perspective to coaching. It enables a unique relationship between client and coach that is truly beneficial to both. This is one of the ways that we work at Ember Coaching, and it is a privilege to share that with you. If you would like to know more, or know others that may benefit, please share this blog and do get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, get outdoors this week, even if just for 10 minutes and become aware not just of your surroundings but how your body behaves in that environment. Steady your pace, look around, breathe.