Mental Health Awareness Week 2021: Nature Recognition Apps
As part of this year’s #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, #ConnectWithNature, we’re celebrating how nature can help with our mental health and wellbeing. In her story, Advocate, Gemma, describes how using nature recognition apps help her to focus on and learn from her surroundings.
‘Being soothed by nature starts from even before I open my eyes: sleeping with the window open and hearing the dawn chorus is a sure way to start any day well. Waking and hearing the birds chirping across the cul-de-sac is a heart-warming sound and never fails to please me, especially when you acknowledge you still have a couple more hours of sleep before the inevitable less natural wake-up call of the alarm clock.
When the kettle is boiling, I open-up the kitchen door to the garden and step out. Breathe. Out rushes the cat to skip across the lawn. These simple moments are joyful.
With home working and no commute, a 15-minute yoga session to stretch and awaken outside on the decking is a winner. Having this special suntrap of the morning rays warms the soul.
A turn around the estate during the lunch break, rain or shine, reconnects me after a morning of screen-time. Using my bird or tree recognition apps to identify unknown flora and fauna focuses the mind on the surroundings and gives me an opportunity to learn. Exercise and learning being key parts to wellbeing.
The end of my working day means free time and so usually involves another walk in the countryside, often using my geocaching app to find little used footpaths. Adventures with no known route and instead simply exploring give me satisfaction and achievement and make me skip, much like the cat!
The day is finished off with a glance at the moon, watching for stars and satellites. And to bed….. the cycle resumes and that routine itself is a comfort.’