Gardening, walking and cycling are not only good for your physical health, they can improve your mental health too.
Research shows that those who are more active in natural spaces have a greater sense of wellbeing and have lower rates of depression and anxiety. Even simple activities like taking a stroll in the park, or doing some gentle outdoor exercise can have big benefits for your mental wellbeing.
Improve your mental health by getting outside into nature
Sometimes, getting the motivation to ‘get up and get out’ can be difficult, especially if you’re depressed or feeling low. But if you feel able, making that effort can give your mind a real boost.
- Think about doing some regular outdoor activity in a natural space and try and make this part of your weekly routine.
- Start small and build up your activity levels.
- Why not involve others too. Enjoying the great outdoors with friends and family can be a good way of connecting with the people around you and strengthening your social networks.
If you need inspiration this spring we've come up with a few ideas to get you going. When the weather's cold or wet it's harder to get motivated so we will be coming up with more ideas to tempt you, so do check back.
Need some extra help?
If you are finding it difficult to get the inspiration to be more active the following may be able to help.
Through Ecominds, Mind has funded 130 environmental projects in England to provide a range outdoor of outdoor green activities for people with mental health problems. Some projects are open to all, others require you to phone up for more information, and some require referrals from your GP. Ecominds is part of the Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces programme.
You can search our map to find a project near you.
Your local Mind
Our network of local Minds across England provide a range of outdoor activities. Many have long-established gardening and horticultural projects; some organise walking and cycling groups, and most offer access to support services and the benefits of users support networks.
You can use this website to search for your local Mind and also find out what type of activities they provide.