The last year and a half have been tough for everyone, especially on the UK’s mental health. Spending time at home is enjoyable for a short period – but it can have a detrimental impact on your mental health after a while. So it’s important to socialise, get some fresh air and spend time in the great outdoors.

A short daily walk around your local area can help you discover some new spots that you would never have found otherwise. Grab a coffee at a new local café or spend some time in your back garden to reconnect with nature. Here are a few reasons why getting out of the house can improve your mental health.

Reduce stress and anger

Spending time in nature is known to reduce feelings of anxiety, sadness, stress and anger. Ecotherapy, referring to doing activities outside, is actually a formal therapy used to treat mild to moderate depression. A little activity with some fresh air can help clear your mind and get your endorphins flowing.

Visit somewhere new

The global travel industry has been grounded since the beginning of 2020. So while international holidays may be out of your reach, you can still take a UK staycation this year. Sometimes a long weekend in a new location or a week by the beach is all we need to get ourselves out of a mood funk. Find out the train times London for this weekend and see the sites, or drive to the Lake District for a hiking holiday. Fortunately, the UK has plenty of staycation options to suit everyone.

Minimise screen time

Natural light is also a well-known treatment for seasonal affective disorder, which is a form of depression occurring in particular seasons. Nurturing flowers and plants can soothe your mind and help you step away from your laptop or TV to do something non-tech based. Most of us could do with a little less screen time.

Improve physical health

If you are feeling nervous about socialising with the pandemic still looming, try doing exercise outside instead. You don’t necessarily have to see someone or socialise in a café or restaurant when you leave the house. It could be as simple as going for a jog around your local park or doing your morning workout in the garden instead of the living room.

It’s been a tough year – treat yourself to a new gardening hobby or take a trip to a new UK destination.