Plan Ahead And Prepare: Mental Health Awareness Month 2023

Plan Ahead And Prepare: Mental Health Awareness Month 2023

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and so for the month on our website and social media we’ll be sharing research on how the outdoors can help our mental health, talking to Leave No Trace Community Members who have expert knowledge in the space, and sharing tips, tricks, and resources for us all to get out safely and responsibly!

Our first Mental Health Awareness Month article focused on the different organisations in Ireland and abroad who are highlighting the importance of our environment when it comes to our mental health, and linking related resources.

Today, we’re looking at how we can incorporate the Leave No Trace Principles in gentle ways to find our connections to nature.

Plan Ahead and Prepare

We often focus on the gear we’ll need, or what the weather forecast is, so that we’re physically prepared to meet the day. Another important consideration is how we can use the outdoors for our mental health, and how we can plan that into our lives. Some of our quick tips include:

  • Having a pre-packed small bag of the simple things we need for a walk can help us step out the door on low days
  • Starting a walk by talking to someone on the phone can be an easy way to get moving! The phone call can be as long or short as you want, and ends with the added bonus that someone knows that you’ve set out on an activity, which is exactly what we should do for #PlanAheadAndPrepare!
  • Exercise apps that are typically used for running or hiking can also be used for walking or meditation. Try out apps like Strava or Hiiker and use their route planner to find new places to connect to nature, make yourself a map, and get an estimated duration for your walk