After what has been an incredibly challenging year for us all, this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is more important than ever, and as strong advocates for mental health awareness at CMB Engineering, we are looking at ways we can all improve our mental health through this year’s theme of NATURE.
During the last 12 months of living through a world in lockdown, nature has played a crucial role in so many of our lives when supporting our mental health. Research shows that in the Summer of 2020, half of the UK population said that being in nature was a preferable way of coping with the stress of the pandemic.
We spoke to two CMB team members who shared their experience on the benefits of nature on their mental health, which you can read below:
Person 1: “Living in South Wales, we are blessed with some amazing places of natural beauty. From the Brecon Beacons to our stunning coastline, there are hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
My not so hidden gem, but somewhere I spend a lot of time and now with COVID restrictions lifting I will be returning to on a regular basis, is Merthyr Mawr sand dunes. A beautiful spot in between Ogmore-by-Sea and Porthcawl. For me the best time to visit is early in the morning when it is quiet and just you, a few dog walkers and nature.
Walking across the dunes to the beach is such a calming experience and to hear all the birds and seeing wildlife takes you to a better place. Once you reach the beach the feeling of the sea breeze and the beautiful views makes you smile and for me, makes me appreciate how lucky I am to live so close to something this beautiful.
I believe that taking the time to go on a beach walk, or find a mountain trail, or a waterfall you didn’t know was there can be extremely therapeutic. Nature is an untapped resource that is freely available, so get out an enjoy.”
Person 2: “After a busy week of driving and site visits, I find it really beneficial to take a walk in the countryside.
Once a week, my friend and I meet up to walk her dog Genny. We take turns to pick a route, usually with some very steep hills… we can’t escape them in West Wales, but the views definitely make it worthwhile!
An hour or two of walking, chatting and snapping, I feel lighter, refreshed and more relaxed.
Here’s some photos of our last mission.”
This week we have been encouraging staff to make the most of the natural beauty that we are surrounded by and get out of the house for some fresh air or exercise.
As a pledged employer with Time To Change Wales, we continue to increase our focus on the importance of mental health within the work place, particularly through our team of Mental Health Champions.
Our 4 office sites are all situated close to some amazing outdoor locations, which can be seen listed below, and we are encouraging staff and others to take advantage of these locations and get out and about this week to take in the nature that we are surrounded by.
However not everyone lives near natural hotspots and this year, Mental Health.org are keen on making this a key part of the Week.
Many people find it hard to access nature because of where they live or because they have no outside space and so they will be launching new policy requests to enable greater access to nature for people. This can be from making parks and outdoor spaces feel safer, to planting more trees.
Head to https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week to read more on this subject and to seek guidance and further support for your own mental health.