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Stop To Watch Birds For Mental Health Awareness Week

Stop To Watch BTO Podcast

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has teamed up with actor Martin Shaw to promote the importance connecting with nature can have on one’s mental wellbeing.

Shaw who is known for his roles in The Professionals , The Chief, Judge John Deed, and Inspector George Gently has produced a podcast, Stop to Watch  – a time to be with nature.

The short podcast is intended to introduce listeners to mindfulness, to help them focus on the present moment, while acknowledging one’s thoughts, senses, and feelings. Shaw invites listeners to notice the world around them with a childlike curiosity, to put down the binoculars and the notebook, and to immerse themselves in nature with no other distractions.

Discover how the stresses of the day melt away as you focus on the birds around you and your mind rests and lingers on how extraordinary ordinary things can be.

We wrote last month about the benefits bird watching can have on one’s mental health so it’s great to see the BTO have got on board with such an important message.

Deb Lee from the BTO said, We should not underestimate the healing power of taking time out to be with nature, particularly during these very strange and stressful times. Spending time with nature doesn’t have to take you to a nature reserve; it can be experienced from home – listening to the sounds, feeling the wind, or the sun. It is about focussing on what is around us and experiencing the wonder of it.”

Mental Health Awareness Week is an annual event hosted by the Mental Health Foundation that has been running since 2001, which aims to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems. This year the event runs from today until the 24th May and is focusing on the power and potential of kindness.

The Foundation chose kindness as the theme because of its singular ability to unlock our shared humanity. Kindness can strengthen relationships, develop communities, and deepen solidarity.

Protecting our mental health is going to be key in how we cope with and recover from the coronavirus pandemic, with psychological and social impacts likely to outlast the physical symptoms of the virus.

You can download the BTO podcast here or listen via Spotify, Apple, Google, or YouTube. And find out how you can get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week here.

One Response

  1. Thanks for this article. I do think birding can be a good meditative practice, and it’s possibly to completely be in the moment while looking through your bins or camera. This is one of the main aspects of birding that appeals to me, and it’s also a great way to add a little calm into your day. Until you catch sight of that illusive rarity of course!

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