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COMMUNITY NEWS 
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is from 10th May to 16th May and this year it focuses on connecting with nature. 
 
The last year has been tough on everyone, for varying reasons. For some it is missing loved ones that they have been unable to see, for some it has been a sense of isolation, others it has been physical contact and of course there has been financial difficulties for some. 
 
With the lockdown lifting and the weather improving, there are so many ways that you can connect with nature for Mental Health Awareness Week. 
 
With our busy lives, we don’t always really connect with nature, but it has been proven that this can have a positive impact on mental health. There are many ways that you can connect, from simple things like listening to birds, truly listening, as opposed to hearing them on the peripheral of your hearing. 
 
As we are able to meet outside with friends and family now, take the time to go for a walk around a park or green space and to look at the plants and trees that are around you. If there are any benches, relax and take in the views, the peace and hopefully the sun. 
 
You could take a picnic and enjoy the fresh air and the nature around you with the company of your friends or family. While you’re there why not kick off your shoes and feel the grass beneath your feet: it is amazing how that can feel, or just run your fingers through the grass. 
 
If you are lucky enough to live near water, go for a paddle (if it is safe). 
 
You could try growing plants either in a garden, a flower box or even in a pot in your home. Watching your efforts grow, can also be extremely rewarding. 
 
There are so many ways to enjoy nature around you, but we can take it for granted or don’t truly see it; so, stop and take time for you. Then try and make just one positive change to help ensure that you are looking after your mental health wellbeing. 
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