Depression Awareness Week, which aims to increase the public’s awareness of a very common illness runs from April 20-26.
The campaign is also aimed at getting us to focus on our lifestyles to make sure we are not only healthy in body but also in mind.
Spending time outdoors to improve your mental health is known as ecotherapy and its something that mental health experts believe we should be focusing on more.
This neednt be vigorous exercise, beneficial therapeutic activities also include a gentle walk or spending time in the garden. Studies have shown that being outdoors really does have positive effects on your mental health.
Leading mental health charity Mind undertook an experiment where a walk outdoors was compared to a walk indoors. 71% of participants on the Green walk said that they felt less tense and reported decreased levels of depression.
With the unpredictable British weather and work/home commitments it can be hard to find the time and energy to spend time outdoors so activity holidays are being increasingly popular.
Choosing a holiday where the focus is on exploring new scenery and getting back to nature is an ideal way to ensure you are keeping active. You probably wont even realise how much exercise youre doing! An escorted tour is an option you may not have considered before, but it is a great way to constantly explore new surroundings at a gentle pace.
Jetsave, who specialise in Florida holidays and Escorted Tours, feature a tour that shows you the Best of the West, taking you through some of the amazing locations in Western USA and Canada. The tour starts in Vancouver and journeys through stunning landmarks including Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon and the Rocky Mountains.
Theres plenty of opportunities for those who enjoy rambling to visit new locations each day with the chance to spot local wildlife on the way. The tour goes through 8 national parks and you can expect to see buffalo, deer, bobcats and black deer on the way.
If you want to stay a bit closer to home, a walking holiday to Italys Lake Garda (pictured above) is also a great way to stay active while taking in the stunning scenery around you.
Thomson Lakes offer great package deals to countries all across Europe, from the tranquil lakes of Italy to the dramatic mountain & lake scenery of Switzerland all with breathtaking views that are guaranteed to help you unwind.
Research has also shown that walking outside and especially by water can be an effective way of helping to combat mild depression. So whether its a national park and nature that will help you unwind or the serenity of water that will create calm in your life make sure you take stock this Depression Awareness week and look after you.