Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week (15th-21st May), Seedball is encouraging people to spend time outside enjoying nature – an activity which has been linked to a whole host of benefits to enhance and improve mental health.
A study of 20,000 people led by the European Centre for Environment & Human Health found that those who spent even just two hours a week outside in green and open spaces were substantially more likely to report good health and improved psychological well-being compared to those that didn’t.
Growing a wildflower meadow with Seedballs ticks the boxes for spending healing time outdoors on two fronts –with the initial scattering the seed balls, which is a practice of mindfulness in itself, and then with the time spent enjoying the sights and smells of the wildflowers as they grow, as well as the multitude of bees, butterflies and other insects that they attract.
In fact, spending time in the garden has been particularly highlighted as being excellent for improving mental health. One of the largest studies to date on gardens and gardening, found that people who spend time in their garden report better physical and mental health levels than those who do not.
Emily Lambert from Seedball said: “On a personal level, I know that getting outside and spending time in nature is a time when I can relax, unwind and forget about the stresses of the day. In fact, it’s one of the reasons we founded Seedball, as we wanted to encourage more people to spend time outside, creating their own beautiful wildflower meadows.
“With Seedball, a lot of the stress of choosing what to plant is taken away too. There are different wildflower tins and tubes to suit people’s different desires – whether that’s to encourage wildlife like hedgehogs or bumblebees, or to achieve a certain look, like going for shades of beautiful blues with our cornflower mixture, or the vibrant reds of poppies.
“You certainly don’t need to be an experienced or knowledgeable gardener – anyone can easily sow their own patch of wildflowers.”
It's not just spending time outside which can help boost wellness, but taking on a project has also been found to promote positive mental health. Research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress, low moods and depression, while activities that get you out and about can make you feel happier and more relaxed.
Emily said: “Having a project with a goal – like, for example, encouraging more bumblebees into your garden, can give a real sense of satisfaction. Of course, it’s not a magic wand, but so many of our customers have told us that creating their own wildflower meadows in their gardens – and then enjoying all the benefits that come with that – has genuinely boosted their mood levels and wellness.
“Choosing a product such as our Bird Mix Wildflower Tin has a mixture of wildflowers which are ideal for attracting feathered friends to the garden – so you can enjoy sowing them, watching them grow, and then eventually the birds that will be encouraged to visit – like goldfinches, blue tits, robins and chaffinches.”
Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 15th to 21st May 2023 and this year’s focus is on anxiety, and how to reduce and manage it. For more information, visit https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/.