Using the power of nature to battle mental health issues
Becky is writer and editor at Gardening Love, An Ecotherapy & Lifestyle Blog, where ways to enhance Mental Health & Wellbeing and this Through Nature are being shared. In this blogpost, Becky shares how her depression led her to create Gardening Love to grow stronger and help others to reconnect with Nature to find themselves.
Hi, my name’s Becky and I have depression.
From being as young as I can remember I was aware of a dark cloud following me around. I felt as though something heavy was pushing down on me and was often overwhelmed by a sadness that I did not understand and had absolutely no control over.
To others I think I came across as a bit weird. I was extremely quiet, withdrawn and often misconstrued as unsociable. I always felt out of place and anxious.
I carried these feelings into adulthood, growing more aware that something was wrong. I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t put into words how I felt, so I struggled on.
It was after the birth of my first child that I sought help and went to see my GP. I was unsure what to say and worried what they would think of me.
I slowly started to understand my depression and became open and honest with family and friends. It was a huge weight lifted from my mind (excuse the pun!). The stigma surrounding mental health is very real, but in time I decided that I wasn’t going to hide my feelings any longer. I have depression but depression doesn’t have me.
Turning a negative into a positive
Fast forward 7 years and I am excited to be unleashing my blog Gardening Love, into the world. Gardening Love is an embracing of mental health and its challenges merged with my love for nature. A place to celebrate the power that nature and Eco-therapy can have on our mental health and wellbeing.
A positive part of my childhood was being out in nature. I loved the woods, looking for birds and insects and stretching my legs across the Yorkshire moors with my dad. It was my church.
Now it is me taking my children out into the wild, and I see they have the same fire in their belly. Nature makes them feel alive.
Join me on my quest
So I guess I’m on a bit of a mission really, to spread the word that its ok to talk. There is only a stigma surrounding mental health if we allow there to be one. I have accepted that depression is a part of my life, I choose to be open about it and feel better for it.
So if you or anyone you are close to, suffers from mental health issues please know that you are not alone. Please speak out, talk to someone you trust. There is help for you.
Over at Gardening Love I hope to bring people together. I would like to share with you the benefits that Eco-therapy can bring to your life. Gardening Love is a place to talk openly about mental health, but it is also a place for anyone and everyone who enjoys nature and wants to benefit from Eco-therapy.
Eco-therapy can benefit every single person on the planet
Getting out in your garden, caring for plants and flowers can give you a sense of purpose. Sewing seeds and watching them grow can be an incredibly calming and enriching experience. A peaceful break from the 9-5 and hectic lives we lead.
Walking in the woods can help you be mindful, being in the present moment. Not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Surrounding yourself in 360* nature like this can put things into perspective, as you become aware that you are a part of something so much more. There are many more mood boosting Eco-therapy activities to try.
Now it is time to hear from you
Have you been affected by mental health issues? Do you have a love for gardening and the outdoors? Are you interested in learning about the power of Eco-therapy?
I’d love you to comment any thoughts below. Let’s keep talking and end the stigma.
Head over to http://www.gardeninglove.co.uk for inspiration, encouragement and ideas to help you enhance your life and wellbeing.
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