Updated: Dec 7, 2021
A very good afternoon to you all and welcome to a rather special blog post, because, this week, on its last day, we are focusing on Mental Health Awareness Week. Over the past year, the mental health of us all has seemed more important than ever, so, what is Mental Health Awareness Week? Well, it gives everyone the vital opportunity to speak about any and all aspects of mental health, whether that be how you’re feeling or ideas considering how to improve your mental health.
I’m sure many of you already know that animals, whether they’re a furry companion, always by your side at home, or, you have regular, feathered friends who visit you in your garden, can improve our mental health, in more ways than one, and, many of us have found comfort in our pets or nature throughout the year.
As much as we all adore the sweet affection we receive from our pets or relish in the sights and sounds of nature, you may be left wondering why a warm, purring ball of fluff or a stunningly coloured bird, leaves us feeling just that little bit happier inside. Well, we have a few fascinating facts about pets and nature and how they can help to drastically improve our mental health.
Pets offer us comfort, companionship and motivation of all kinds, which help us to live mentally healthier lives! A paw-fect example, would be having a dog, because they need daily, regular exercise, so you need to drag yourself outside for them, and, you get to breathe in that fresh, crisp air, and get the sheer enjoyment of watching them play!
With all animals, however, there’s that element of motivation, because each and every pet (yes, even cats) is dependent on us for something, and, that, in turn, motivates us and forces us to have that get up and go nature, perfect for reducing the impact of depression and loneliness!
Interacting with wildlife can be hugely beneficial for our mental health, with something as simple as watching birds in your garden, helping to improve feelings of relaxation and well-being! It’s so magical and calming to be able to take a moment out of your busy day, make a cuppa and either watch from the window or sit outside and fully immerse yourself in nature. It means you’re able to switch off for a few moments and we all need that ‘me time’ sometimes!
Did you know that playing with your pet for a mere 5 minutes (we can all make time for that - no excuses), can reduce levels of stress hormones and increase levels of ‘happy hormones'? No? Then, what are you waiting for? Fetch your pet, and get playing, and physically feel your worries fade away!
Nature photography is incredibly healing in so many ways. It motivates you to get out and about, whether that be in your garden or your local nature reserve.
Once you’re out, away from the bustle of urban life, the television with constant ‘briefings,’ your phone, with social media and unrealistic standards, any screens in fact - you find yourself in an incredibly different head-space - one of calm and focus.
Focusing on the real beauty of the world around us, itself, can benefit our mental health, but taking the time to find something you personally find wondrous and having the patience to take a stunning photograph of that beautiful animal, budding flower or rippling stream, is something peaceful and it can be a marvelous form of therapy for anyone struggling with their mental health. So, whether you’re a pure amateur or a bit of a photography whiz, take that step outside and snap some gorgeous pictures!
Having a furry, feathered or scaly companion not only benefits your mental health, but the mental health and overall well-being of your children!
Pets can help your child to develop their confidence with social interactions, especially if they have anxiety regarding socialising. As well as this, keeping a pet, as many parents know, helps your child to take responsibility for caring for a live, dependent animal and the exercise that animals require, especially dogs, makes children much calmer towards the evening, leading to a higher likelihood of a peaceful, undisturbed night’s sleep!
Considering these facts, there are some amazing ways that you can reap the mental health benefits of animals and the nature that we are so lucky to have around us! So, whether you cuddle your furry baby just that little closer today, or, you choose to take a glorious afternoon walk and embrace nature (don't hesitate to send us any photos you take), please do take care of yourself, both physically and mentally, and, for more advice, tips and tricks, visit this site!