Be Inspired By Nature – Managing Your Mental Health

Embrace Nature at the Giant's Causeway

Octavia Hill, National Trust Founder once said, “the need of quiet, the need of air, the need of exercise, and, I believe, the sight of sky and of things growing, seem human needs, common to all…”.

Those common needs stated by Octavia Hill are all things that can be found at the Giant’s Causeway. Whether you come to take in the fresh air or to get your steps in for the day, it is so important to get outside and clear your headspace.

Thursday 10th October marked World Mental Health Day, a day for people to take time to reflect on how important raising awareness for Mental Health and focusing on our own mental wellbeing is. We at the Giant’s Causeway think that it is vital to take time for our mental health every day. That could be chatting with a friend, going for a coffee or simply getting out in nature. We want the Giant’s Causeway to be a place that members and visitors come to learn about the rich history but also to take in the breath-taking views and to take a little time in nature for themselves.

We invited Annette Kelly, wellbeing speaker and advocate, who some of you may know better as Little Penny Thoughts, to enjoy a day at the Giant’s Causeway to see first-hand how nature can really lift your mood.

Annette Kelly, wellbeing speaker and advocate embracing the Giant's Causeway
Annette Kelly, wellbeing speaker and advocate embracing the Giant's Causeway
Annette Kelly, wellbeing speaker and advocate embracing the Giant's Causeway

Following her visit Annette shared with us her top five tips for mental wellbeing inspired by her trip to the Giant’s Causeway;

1. Get out in nature – for me, I would define ‘Freedom’ as; nature and getting outside to clear your head. When you get outside you feel so free in nature; you’re focused on the setting around you or what you’re doing - climbing, walking, hiking, it’s a chance to get away from the busy everyday routine we’re all guilty of sustaining. There is no doubt that nature can boost our mental well-being as it reduces stress and anxiety, you have the space and freedom to think. So take the time to plan a day trip every so often that will see you surrounded by the beauty of nature.

2. Move – The mind and body have such a strong link, physical activity can really lift your mental wellbeing. It doesn’t need to be a session in the gym, simply going for a walk gets the body and mind moving in the right direction.

3. Explore – there is always something new to find even in places you have visited before. Go it alone or go with friends and take the time to reflect and connect with the world around you.

4. Relax – it’s ok to take a little time to relax, we all deserve a bit of ‘me time’ to check in and see how we are feeling. Getting outside gives you the chance to take even five minutes for yourself to soak up and appreciate the beautiful scenery we have right here on our doorstep.

5. Breathe – life is busy, so sometimes stopping for a second just to breathe can be needed. There really is nothing better than being able to breathe in the fresh air and feel the wind on your face when you go outside.

Next time you visit the Giant’s Causeway take a leaf out of Annette’s book and take the time to connect with yourself and the stunning views you are immersed in.