May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I want to consider our kids' mental health. I know it can be a touchy subject because, as parents, we never want to feel like we can't give our kids everything they need, but the truth is, we can't. It's also true that some people don't think it's vital to focus on kids' mental health for various reasons. But we need to prioritize their mental health just like we should our own. When considering children's mental health, I believe it is important to remember that mental disorders don't have to be present for kids to need tools to help them deal and cope with life. We all have things that can cause a pause in our daily lives and routine; making sure kids can work through these instances now will set them up to be better off as adults.
Just like adults, kids can experience mental fatigue. This is especially true after living through the pandemic of 2020 and spending more time than ever in front of screens. From virtual school, more families homeschooling, the lack of care for kids, and having to divert to screens to assist, screentime is high. What's often forgotten is that kids typically can't self-regulate and don't know when they've had too much. Hence, brain fatigue.
I've found time outside to be extremely valuable for myself and my boys throughout my parenthood journey. When days are complicated, we hit our local greenway to help release the negative vibes and renew our spirits. When chaos ensues at home, and it does because we have three boys, we pack our car and find a trail or waterfall to chase, leaving all the stress of the day behind.
While I'm not recommending Nature as standard therapy for mental disorders, I do suggest that it be one of many valuable tools in your arsenal. The benefits are certainly powerful enough to enhance your and your kid's mental health journey.
How can Nature play a part in the mental health of kids?
Natural Mood Enhancer
Boosts Self Confidence
Provides Calming Environment
Restores a sense of self
If you or your kids are experiencing problems, please don't be afraid to speak with your doctor about other ways to help. There should never be any shame around taking whatever steps and measures needed to care for your mental health.