Written by Jessica Wood

Alongside Organic September there are many more National Awareness Days that the public can get involved in this September. Now that things are beginning to return to normal, all be it with a few differences, this month is perfect to engage with the positive events happening.

Youth Mental Health Day is taking place on the 7th September. Following the recent lockdown, our mental health is now more important than ever, especially for young people who are heading back to school or college.

Anxiety, depression and stress are just a couple of the mental health issues that are bubbling up as requiring greater awareness, and this year is the first ever Youth Mental Health Awareness Day where we can start to address these.

One in eight young people from 5-19 years of age suffer from mental health difficulties. Youth Mental Health Day is all about ‘bounce not break’ to focus on using, finding and developing different coping mechanisms and strategies that can be put in place to help deal with and manage mental health problems.

Here at The Fold we have a variety of nature trail walks, Farm shop, and a Therapy Centre. The Fold is a centre set up to be environmentally friendly, sustainable and a place is happy well-being.

Getting outdoors, fresh air and activity is hugely beneficial, and after months of staying at home, this is the perfect way to catch a change of scenery and stimulation for the mind and body. Walking helps with mindfulness, fatigue, gentle movement, digestion, improve happiness and ease stress. Try out one of our Nature Trail Walks and see what a difference it can make.

Diet is a major component influencing how our mind and bodies work. Why not use Youth Mental Heath Day to try growing your own fruit and vegetables as a little project to focus on. Often, caring and nurturing something such as a plant can bring great satisfaction, and by growing your own, you get to eat your own produce and take pride in what you’ve achieved.

Arts and crafts are brilliant to express creativity and personality. Getting crafty activates the mind and soul, its stimulating, boosts confidence and self-esteem. Youth Mental Health Day is the perfect opportunity to experiment with some arts and crafts to see what works for you or to start a new hobby. You can take a look at some of our upcoming art and craft workshops here.

The Great British September Clean is coming up from the 11th – 27 th September. It is essential we keep our countryside and public spaces clean and tidy. Now that we are all starting to get out and about more, visit places of natural beauty, we must ensure we clean up after ourselves on trips out. After all is it the wild life, their habitats that suffer if we leave our litter lying around.

Keep Britain Tidy are organising this year’s Great British September Clean and you can get involved too. By organising your own clean up, it can be done in pairs or small groups with family or a few friends. Alternatively, you can pledge to do your own litter picking.

Have a walk down a country lane to pick whilst you stroll, on dog walks, organise a small, socially distanced litter pick party in the park. Spice up the community spirit to keep your local area tidy. Head to Keep Britain Tidy to find out more or get a pack.

Why stop there! 21st  September brings Recycle Week. WRAP are hosting ‘Together – We recycle’ and the possibilities are endless. Recycle your plastic, glass, paper, cans and encourage your street to do the same and help each other. We now have a crisp packet recycle station at The Fold Farm shop, so bring your packets to recycle next time you pop in!

It doesn’t have to stop there. Be creative with your recycling, up-cycle old furniture or clothes, be enthusiastic and make the most of using your wheelie bin system. Use your cardboard or plastics to make artwork, re use wrapping papers, take plastics, bottles and cans to the nearby bottle banks.

We are all aware of the damage being done to the planet’s seas and oceans, once again the environment and marine life is suffering. We must endeavour to reduce our waste.

To sum up, these three National awareness Days link in to each other perfectly. By engaging with one, we can improve our mental health and well-being, whilst benefiting the environment at the same time through walking , nature, creativity, and being mindful of our waste. Thus promoting environmentally friendly habits we can continue and furthering education for the future.