Throughout our Greenspaces mini-series we have detailed some routes for you to walk/run/cycle from our different campuses. Here in Cumbria and North Lancashire, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to having some spectacular greenspaces on our doorstep; whether it be Williamson Park in Lancaster, Rickerby Park and the River Eden in Carlisle or the Lake District hills, if you’re living in Cumbria or Lancaster, you’re never far from beautiful green and open spaces.
However, now that it’s the summer break, this may involve returning home, where greenspaces aren’t so accessible. Alternatively, you may be a London student where it can be difficult to find spaces away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
If this is the case for you, how can you get your regular dose of green?
Before we go into that, let’s remind ourselves of why greenspaces are so important to our mental health and wellbeing and why I would encourage you to make it a priority in your daily or weekly routine…
Greener environments are … associated with better mental health and wellbeing outcomes including reduced levels of depression, anxiety, and fatigue, and enhance quality of life for both children and adults. Greenspace can help to bind communities together, reduce loneliness, and mitigate the negative effects of air pollution, excessive noise, heat and flooding.
Greenspaces can mean different things for different people, it doesn’t have to mean access to a national parks or beautifully manicured gardens. Maybe it involves looking after a potted garden plant that it situated in your backyard or on your balcony? Maybe it’s helping to look after a small community garden in an urban area? Or it could involve taking the scenic route home-instead of walking next to a busy road, is there a quieter, leafier route that you could take? I personally always find bodies of water to be relaxing and rejuvenating. Is there a local pond, canal, or river that you could walk or sit by? Are you lucky enough to have a botanical garden nearby or even a garden centre that you could meander around?
There are lots of ways to connect with green and nature wherever you are in the world. Find out more here.
Whatever it may be, greenspaces can be a valuable tool for looking after your mental health and wellbeing. Being in greenspaces (even for a short period of time) can help you feel more grounded and present, facilitate relaxation, relieve tension, and can boost your mood. The benefits are endless and therefore, even if you don’t have the Lakes on your doorstep for a while, get your thinking cap on and start thinking of ways to get your vital dose of green!
Mental Health Case Worker-The Mental Health & Wellbeing Team.