Our sense of mental wellbeing is greatly affected by our climate and environment. Developing a good relationship with the great outdoors is important for people of all ages, but at a young age, this can prove to be crucial to achieve great mental health in later years.
Children’s coats retailer, Muddy Puddles, joins Winston’s Wish, a charity established to provide support for young people experiencing bereavement, to explore the ways in that the great outdoors helps to promote healthy teenage minds.
The value of adventure
Throughout the teenage years, young people are constantly under some form of pressure, whether it’s in the form of school exams or other sources. By giving teenagers a break from their studies, they can take some time away from these intense situations and process everything at their own pace. By encouraging teens to leave the classroom every now and again, they can refresh their minds in the most natural way. Some teachers find it extremely valuable to hold lessons outdoors especially in the warmer weather, when exam season is at its peak.
Skills in resilience
When a young person encounters any form of loss or grief for the first time it can be difficult for them to express their feelings, and adults don’t always know how to approach the topic. The characteristics of nature can be useful tools for explaining life cycles, discussing how new growth happens and how natural elements assist. These practical examples can alleviate the challenges involved in guiding a child through loss, developing a healthy understanding of life.
Nature itself is a therapeutic escape for some people, and it is the perfect place to practice mindfulness and resilience. Winston’s Wish offers nature walks, where families can take some time away from their normal routines and spend time walking and talking through their feelings, or they simply embrace the tranquility of nature while grieving.
In adulthood, grief can feel a lot more final than it does for young people and teenagers, and it can be harder for them to come to terms with for this reason. Winston’s Wish offer nature walks, that can provide a safe, open environment in which young people can discuss their feelings in a calm setting. This allows them to process their emotions and develop strong coping mechanisms which will guide them through life.
Developing strong relationships
Building relationships is often helped along in an outdoor setting, and with this there is a stronger sense of freedom surrounding expression. Many people experience a stronger sense of relief when they walk while discussing an issue that they’re experiencing, as it can feel like a more suitable environment to truly clear their thoughts. In children, listening and being listened to promotes a healthy sense of self-esteem, and connecting with other youngsters provides the base for solid future connections.
The natural boost
We all know how good exercise makes us feel, whether you’re a marathon runner or you simply enjoy an evening stroll, getting outdoors and being active is a great combination. Making a conscious effort to take some time to go for a walk can help to keep both our mind and body feeling happy and healthy, and it is one of the only ‘free’ ways to feel excellent.
The great outdoors really does benefit the mindset of teenagers, as well as having an array of positive effects on respiratory systems and weight control. Feeling calm, inspired and safe is all possible in nature, and children should be encouraged to spend time immersed in natural surroundings from an early age to promote positivity even in the most challenging of times.