In the lead up to Christmas, DOC is supporting the Mental Health Foundation with the ‘Summer Photo Challenge’ through the Healthy Nature, Healthy People initiative.
Healthy Nature Healthy People is a movement aimed to encourage kiwis to connect with nature – be that land, water sky or sea – to improve and maintain good health and well-being.
The twelve day challenge encourages participants to take photos of themselves, their friends and whānau connecting with nature around the festive season. The daily photo themes range from ‘connecting with nature’ to ‘random acts of kindness’ over the festive period.
The month leading up to Christmas can often be stressful – emotionally, mentally and financially. The summer wellbeing theme will challenge and inspire participants to get into the festive spirit, connect with nature and to take a step back from materialistic Christmas gifts and focus on the people and nature around them.
The challenge recognises that nature does not necessarily mean a forest or bush, but being outdoors, gardening, walking around urban areas, breathing fresh air, feeling the grass underneath your feet or gazing the at the clouds in the sky. No matter what way you connect, there is significant research that shows that your mental health and wellbeing improves when you connect with nature
“The peace, inspiration and pleasure brought by contact with nature is downright therapeutic. The further we get from it, the less whole we feel”
– R.L. Wysong
If you are keen to get involved, keep an eye on the Mental Health Foundation’s Facebook Page and post your daily photo on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page with the hashtag #HealthyNatureHealthyPeople and #MHFNZ to take on the challenge!
You can find out more about the Healthy Nature, Healthy People initiative on the DOC website.