We are, as I write this, progressively moving out of the restrictions which have been in place as a result of Covid-19 and back into some form of normality, whatever that means for each of us. For some it is a time of excitement whereas for others a time of apprehension, and it is important to recognise what we are feeling. It is becoming a time of reflection, looking back on what life has been like for each of us during the last year or so.
Looking back will not, though, change anything. Instead, now is a time to take stock, to establish where we are, what’s working and what’s not working for each of us. And it is a time to consider next steps. Are we simply going to revert to life as it was before, pre-Covid, or do we want something more, something better, something differently?
Once you’ve decided what you want, you need a plan to make it happen, a plan for today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, and so on. Plans that take you forward one step at a time to where you want to be. And you can imagine how good it feels as you are exactly where you want to be, can’t you?
It is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the theme this year is nature. As we become increasingly aware of the importance of mental well-being, so frequently neglected in the past, it is crucial to see mental wellness as essential as physical wellness. It is equally crucial to recognise the symbiotic and circular relationship between the two; good mental wellness helps improve physical wellness, and good physical wellness improves mental wellness.
The theme this year is nature. And there is so much evidence of how reconnecting with nature improves our mental well-being; from enjoying and embracing time in parks and woodland, gardens and allotments, from houseplants to the wildness of open spaces, it all helps. It all makes a positive difference.
As with so much in life, making changes and embracing nature can be done in one swift move. It can take time, one step after another. The key is to start with the end in mind; an end which includes the joy of the natural world as part of our daily, weekly, monthly and yearly routine, time to renew and refresh. And you know that you can do it, don’t you?