When we think about stress and anxiety, we often veer towards traditional coping strategies. Mindfulness, meditation, exercise and stress-counselling. These all have their place and can be highly beneficial. But did you ever consider doing more everyday activities to ground yourself?
Sometimes we get so caught up in life that we even forget to take a breath. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Just by taking mindful pauses, we can begin to notice the little things in life that promote a sense of wellbeing. Not only that, but we cultivate a sense of gratitude for them, which as we’re coming to understand, is associated with happiness.
Mental Health Awareness Week 2021
We have to put our mental health first. No question. That’s why Mental Health Awareness Week runs every year, to provide a focus on this massive issue, and keep it at the forefront of our collective mind-set. Mentalhealth.org also have some excellent resources and tips on their website. For those times when you or a loved one needs help and support for stress and anxiety, click here for links to the Samaritans, Mind and Rethink Mental Health amongst others.
Why is Nature Grounding?
In homage to the fact that millions of us turned to the great outdoors during the difficult months of lockdown, the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, running from 10-16 May, is nature.
Without our normal hectic lifestyles, we had more time to go for walks, enjoy green spaces and marvel at the nature all around us. Although the restrictions were tough, being outdoors and connecting with nature had a positive, calming effect. It took our minds off the problems we were facing in other aspects of life. It was mindful, gave us space to think and enabled us to have perspective.
10 Grounding Activities to Release Stress
We love the theme of nature so why don’t you join in and try our top nature tips on how to feel more grounded.
After all, there’s nothing better than the sensory feel of soft grass underfoot to experience childhood innocence, a sense of fun and to lose those inhibitions.
Lay down on the grass
There’s nothing better than lying down with your eyes shut, listening to the sounds of nature and feeling a gentle breeze blow across your face. Take some long, slow breaths or spend a few minutes meditating. It's grounding and life-affirming all at the same time.
Listen to nature
One of the simplest pleasures in life is hearing birdsong, a cricket chirping or a stream trickling. Shut your eyes and focus on the sounds, it's like natural hypnosis. And It makes you happy. We don’t know exactly why, but it does.
Paddle in a stream
We used to do it when we were younger, so why did we ever stop? The feel of fresh water can make us giggle with pleasure or wince with pain. It’s refreshing and there’s something about it that cements the connection between humans and the natural world. Water isn’t only just a life-source but it’s a massive component of the human body too. The symbolism isn’t wasted here.
Have a picnic
Who doesn’t love a picnic in the sunshine? It’s also a great excuse to catch up with friends and spend time outdoors. If you need that push to get outside, this is a wonderful go-to. Food, socialising and nature’s paradise. Beats sharing a cuppa, grimacing at the carpet that needs a hoover again.
Read a book outside
Really let rip with your imagination and let the great outdoors provide the soundtrack to your next big read. Escapism at its best!
Get into gardening
It’s a truly wonderful hobby and one that leaves you fulfilled. Feel the happy hormones spreading as you nurture young seedlings, bringing joy and hope back into your life. There’s also nothing better for a sense of perspective than watching the cycle of life.
Do an outdoors yoga or exercise class
Why would you go indoors if you can get outside? No more stuffy gyms or sweat laden exercise equipment. Join the millions who prefer a more natural environment for exercise and enjoy the feeling of warm sunshine across your back whilst you Downward Dog.
If you fancy an outdoor yoga session, try a Yogi-Bare Teddy Non-slip Mat, which has the added benefit that it can be cleaned in a washing machine.
Watch the stars
They’re beautiful and extraordinary and watching them can almost feel like a spiritual experience. What it all means, no-body knows, but the size and age of the universe makes big problems feel inconsequential. That can only be a good thing.
Take a gratitude walk
It might sound wacky but it works. Instead of a nature trail, try a gratitude walk next time and find things that make you smile and feel happy. Perfect for promoting a positive mind-set for the rest of the day.