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How Nature Can Impact Your Mental Health

When we make time for nature, whether you’re visiting green spaces such as parks, woodland areas or forests as well as blue spaces like rivers, lakes and beaches, you are instantly generating a multitude of positive emotions. When it comes to mental health and nature facts, research states that when you experience negative feelings, you can definitely switch to a more positive mindset just by spending more time outdoors.

Most of us would have definitely felt negative emotions during the national pandemic and local lockdowns that took place in 2020 and at the start of 2021. It certainly changed the way we socialised – causing more people to experience anxiety and other mental health issues. As well, with many of us experiencing ‘cabin fever’ whilst working remotely, majority of us turned to nature as therapy, or to simply take a break and get some fresh air and a sense of freedom! It became clear that lockdown helped many people reconnect with nature, giving people a renewed appreciation and better understanding of how much we depend on our environment for better health.

With lockdown restrictions easing and more of us eager to venture further afield, it’s important that we don’t turn our backs on nature, and remember that we must keep making more time for our environment when it comes to mental health benefits. In this blog we establish the power of nature, the positive effects it can have on our mental wellbeing and how we can make sure to preserve our environment:

 

Nature is medicine:

The advantages of nature will reduce feelings of stress, anger and fear and increase pleasant feelings drastically, it is reported that exposure to green spaces can reduce blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension, ultimately reducing mortality rates. Observing animals in their natural habitat can also make you physically and psychologically healthier. Research also indicates that if you have plants in your office, living room or bedroom – it can significantly reduce the impact of anxiety.

 

Nature and recovery:

When you focus your mind on what you see, you often forget the issues that you were once so focused on. That is exactly what nature can do for you, when you bring yourself back to the present and really take in nature, it can help us cope with pain. Research shows that patients in hospital recover quicker when they have clear views of nature from their window. This proves nature heals!

 

Increase attention to detail:

Following on from the recovery benefits, it is clear that when spending time in nature and being present, it can really increase our ability to pay attention to what is in front of us. It can ultimately put a pause to our overactive brains and make us feel more refreshed, rested and more productive.

 

Healthy environment, healthy life:

The more we care for our planet, we are essentially taking care of our health, our family and friends health and all of your futures! Clean air is vital not only to our health, but for all living things and if we continue to favour fossil fuels over renewable energy, the more we will destroy our environment to the point of no return.

 

It’s important to take advantage of nature’s benefits, but we should never take advantage of everything that nature can offer to us. If more of us commit to making greener and more sustainable lifestyle changes, we can combat climate change in a big way! There’re multiple things we can do to help preserve our planet, from reducing waste, recycling and swapping out harmful products to biodegradable options.

If you’re already doing these things, then GREAT! But if you want to go that extra mile by adding solar, battery storage or EV charge points to your home or business, then SolarCentric can certainly help you understand your renewable options in the most straightforward way possible.

Why not call us to book in for a free no obligation consultation and quote?

t        0330 0552155
e      designteam@solarcentric.co.uk

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Many of us are trying to make small lifestyle changes to benefit the planet and our futures, and so making sure that our pensions and investments are green will certainly help us meet our net zero targets! It is stated that £87 billion a year goes into Britain’s pension schemes, a figure that is predicted to increase over the next two decades, therefore we must make sure that our savings support a sustainable future.

Due to the lack of awareness, it is unbeknown to many that our savings actually threaten our futures. Nine times out of ten, our UK pensions go into default funds that unfortunately invest in big fossil fuel organisations. It’s important to know that financial products have an enormous influence on our environment, and pensions are no exception. More than a quarter of Brits aren’t aware of this and do not know their own workplace pension scheme at all.

How to make your investment funds greener?

Green pensions are becoming increasingly popular and it is stated that almost a fifth of UK savers are choosing an eco-friendly pension product. With more awareness given to green products, it is expected that the number in customers opting for greener pensions will increase. This means two things – not only will these funds make sure that responsible companies receive the financial backing to combat climate change, but it will ensure that we are all prepared to combat this climate crisis head on.

Furthermore, if more people who learn about the impact of pensions, and start taking action, the more those who design these funds will have to listen. There is not much point in saving for the future if your money is funding harmful, oil fuelled organisations that ultimately destroy our futures.

In order to prevent your pension funding climate change – we have created a simple, 2 step guide for you to take quick action:

If you’re self-employed:

  • If you’re your own boss – you can obviously choose a sustainable pension yourself as you won’t be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme. A good place to start looking for a green pension is to simply research responsible options. You’ll then be making your hard earned money matter!

If you work for an employer:

  • If you work for a company, unfortunately you don’t always get much say over your pension, but you can try – that’s what matters! Find out exactly where your investment funds are going (your HR team should help you understand this). If your pension does fund big unethical companies, speak to your colleagues and raise awareness. You could consider starting a petition to encourage your employer to move to a greener scheme. Don’t forget, doing this will be in their best long-term interest as more people become environmentally conscious.

People like to see businesses contributing to things that matter, and when a company shows that they are willing to hear their employees’ thoughts and opinions it can create a better working culture and certainly help businesses to retain employees and attract new talent!

The old fashion saying is that, ‘money is the route of all evil’ and this will remain true if we do not start to think about the way we save and spend our money. We must all practice responsible investments. However, with more people seeking better change for our planet, we can tackle this issue sooner rather than later.

It’s just about taking those important steps and ensuring that we encourage others to follow suit!

If you’re thinking of making green investments through renewable energy sources, our friendly and professional team are just a phone call away:

t        0330 0552155
e       designteam@solarcentric.co.uk

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For those who are unfamiliar with the term climate anxiety, it is an overwhelming phycology awareness of the state of our environment. Climate anxiety in youth, find themselves constantly anxious, feeling stressed and worried about global warming and experts are becoming concerned about the strain that the climate crisis is having on our younger generation’s mental wellbeing.

Phycologists have warned that continuous news stories on the devastation of our environment can become debilitating. When faced with a constant flow of negative information it can cause people to feel helpless. Young adults are already dealing with so many pressures in regards to their futures, the idea of potentially not having the chance to live a clean and better future is a heavy weight to carry.

We understand the psychological impacts of climate change all too well, but to reassure those experiencing climate change and mental health issues, we can safely say that you can combat climate anxiety and slow down climate destruction at the same time.

We created a step by step guide on how to train your mind with just five mindful tips, in order for you to consume and react to climate information in a much healthier way:

Don’t feel ashamed

When we think about doing our bit for the environment and actually taking action, we often feel proud and good about ourselves, which is great! But often when we take successful steps our minds tend to wonder, thinking; ‘I need to do more’ and ‘this isn’t enough to stop climate destruction’. It’s hard to not let our thoughts run wild, but its important that we bring our minds back and focus on the present and think ‘some steps are better than no steps at all’. It’s all about doing our bit, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

Community clean up

You don’t have to sign up to a group clean up, you can organise your own community clean up by yourself. It’s always better to get volunteers, but whether you have ten people or just one person litter picking in your area, you will do wonders for nature and for your wellbeing. Its been documented that being outdoors is linked to better mental health, proving green is good.

Eco swaps

Making cut backs does require some research, which can seem a huge task if what your looking for is not on the sustainable or biodegradable list. But if you’re looking, you’re trying and that’s better than nothing. Educating yourself on kinder products, ways to use more public transport, researching electric cars, is better than nothing at all. To get a good idea on everyday eco lifestyle habits, you can visit and follow cariuma_greentips on Instagram, they share easy green tips and can help you make better shopping decisions. It’s all about trying!

Sustainable energy

Controlling, reducing and especially providing your own energy can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s important to note that when you do invest in solar PV, your property value can increase by £30,000!

How to talk about climate change

Getting involved in environmental projects big or small is great and you should definitely shout about it. The more we talk green, the more people we can educate. You don’t need a megaphone, just simply promote across social media. When you share your joys, your lows, the struggles, the benefits – people will definitely appreciate hearing your experiences and will take it upon themselves to follow suit.

The reality is, you can’t control everything that happens in life. All we can do is better ourselves, learn lessons and make greener choices when we can.

With these wellbeing tips on how to cope with eco-anxiety, you should feel more reassured by accepting and acknowledging the fact that you’re practicing a cleaner lifestyle and are mentally healthier at the same time.

If you know someone experiencing anxiety:
This guide can certainly help those understand how to cope with stress and overcome challenges but despite how beneficial these self-help steps can be, if you’ve made consistent efforts to improve your mental and emotional health and still feel unable to function – it may be time to seek professional help. Input from a caring professional can often help us to take better care of our health:

In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie.
Samaritan site: www.samaritans.org/wales/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/write-email/  

Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org


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