Many farms have footpaths from where, as we walk, we can enjoy the landscape and sights and sounds of the flora and fauna that flourish in the working countryside.
With every step of the way, and whatever the weather, time spent near the fields our farmers labour in can nourish our souls as well as help feed society.
With the arrival of spring, brown fields transform into many shades of green. Farm life picks up pace to keep up with the tasks of caring for the crops and livestock.
The burst of new life stimulates an array of feelings within us. This time of year can make us feel hope, excitement or relief at winter’s end, which is why springtime can often have a positive influence over our well-being.
Farms and fields provide us with so much more than food. Take a walk to feel all they offer. Use a familiar route or a new one, and be respectful of the pathways, to make interesting discoveries. Walk with your senses switched on to really allow the countryside that is so often taken for granted to nourish you.
Try our recipe for wellbeing:
• Take one coat or jacket, your door key, and a bottle of water.
• Whisk your way out of your house.
• Walk, or run, for 20 minutes, changing pace until you feel your heart beating a bit faster and you start to feel warmer.
• While walking, engage your senses to notice your surroundings and what you can you feel, see, hear, or smell.
• Before the time is up, mix in an act of kindness into your walk.
• When you’ve returned home, make a hot drink and take five minutes to talk, instead of e-mailing or texting, with someone.
• Repeat this recipe every day and notice how your sense of well-being improves.
At YANA, we have a simple recipe that works for improving rural mental health.
Our four ingredients are:
• Building awareness of mental health
• Investing in mental health training
• Providing a confidential helpline and funded counselling
• Distributing seven Tractor Facts to Save a Life nationally
We can all learn how to support those we know who are struggling with stress, depression, or even suicidal thoughts. Visit yanahelp.org for more information.
Much of our fantastic fundraising by YANA supporters is by people who produce food for a living. They run, drive, cycle, and more and even put up YANA stickers on all types of incredible farm machinery – tractors, trailers, harvesters and lifters – so that anyone in need of help with improving their mental health knows they can turn to YANA for help.
YANA will be back in the next edition with an East Anglian food producer who takes good care of their mental health. In the meantime, discover more about us and the help we extend to you and those you care about.
• Twitter: @yanafarming
• Facebook: yanahelp
• Instagram: yanahelp1