Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week runs from Monday, May 10 to Sunday, May 16, 2021, and the theme for this year’s event is ‘nature‘ – which seems fitting after a year of lockdowns that has seen us forced indoors for extended periods.
Life can be challenging in many ways, and we all find our mental resilience challenged at times. Recognizing how nature is so central to our psychological and emotional health, the Mental Health Foundation hopes to inspire more people to step outside and connect with nature in new ways and notice the beneficial effect this connection can have on their mental health.
Percussion Play realized long ago the positive impact of being outside on our mental well-being. The evidence that demonstrates the powerful benefits of nature on our mental health; increased creativity, empathy, and sense of wonder, alongside the fact that music has been proven to enhance mood, boost feel-good endorphins and improve emotion regulation, are powerful indicators that music made on outdoor musical instruments is not only enjoyable but a beneficial and holistic approach to improving our mental health.
The therapeutic effects of creativity and self-expression are essential for our mental health and emotional well-being so that we can express our thoughts, feelings, and ideas. When we don’t express ourselves, we repress important parts of who we are and cause ourselves considerable struggles and lasting mental and emotional pain, such as anxiety and depression. Finding creative, healthy, productive ways to express ourselves, such as songwriting, poetry, visual arts, gardening, and making music, can boost motivation, increase concentration, and produce a stronger sense of self.
Outdoor musical instruments engage our senses while having a little fun – they are an invitation to experience the outdoors in a new and creative way. When encouraged to be expressive, we build our self-confidence and begin to understand ourselves, our feelings, and our emotions, which is both cathartic and will, in turn, lead to a greater sense of well-being.
Mental Health Week and the Mental Health Foundation hope that by growing awareness of the importance of nature to good mental health – they can also work to ensure that everyone can share in it.
Further reading: White paper Hitting The High Notes regarding the benefits of music for mental health