This week is Mental Health Awareness Week! Join in and help to create a world with good mental health for all 💚

This year’s theme is movement and moving more for our mental health.

Kate Davies, BVNA Student Council Member, says;

“When I step outside with my beloved dogs, a rush of joy fills my heart. As we walk together, their wagging tails and playful demeanour bring a sense of peace to my soul. Being surrounded by nature during these walks feels like a therapeutic escape, allowing me to leave behind the stresses of everyday life.

When I was 16, I began taking regular walks with my first dog, Lola. I quickly discovered that walking not only provided a simple way to stay active, but also offered a stress-free opportunity to bond with my dog, clear my mind, and explore hidden corners of my village. As I extended the duration of these walks, I found myself genuinely embracing this form of exercise. Living in a tranquil village allowed me to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, enabling me to leisurely stroll or simply sit with my dog and take in the surroundings, giving myself the chance to just “breathe”.

Once I passed my driving test, our walks could go even further and we discovered new places, I was exploring parts of south Wales that I had never seen before and I loved it, we found new beaches, country parks, nature walks etc.

Unfortunately, Lola started to get older and our walks began to slow down. Eventually, I had to say goodbye to her. About a year before Lola passed away, I got a puppy named Mitzy, who brought a whole new level of energy into my life. After Lola passed away, it was just me and Mitzy, and our walks resumed. Mitzy had so much energy that we would walk for hours over mountains, through forests, and along beaches. Even though I missed Lola, Mitzy kept me busy and reminded me that the walks we went on were some of my happiest times. I definitely made a lot of memories while out and about with Lola.

I currently have two dogs, and our walks take us everywhere. I particularly enjoy nature walks because they are peaceful and can be as slow or fast-paced as you want them to be. I love the sound of nature, including the birds singing, the rivers flowing, and the wind blowing. It always calms my busy mind, and I don’t have to stress or worry about what people are thinking of me in that moment. I can just be myself.

I also like to explore historic areas so we often go to castles, old iron age hill forts, old canal paths. Wales Is such a beautiful country with so much nature and history its difficult to not enjoy walking around and having two little furry best friends with you make it even better.

Walking has been incredibly beneficial for my mental health. Being in nature feels like meditation, calming my mind and bringing me joy. Seeing my dogs happy during our walks is a bonus. Accomplishing challenging walks gives me a sense of pride and fulfilment. I highly recommend walking to anyone looking to improve their well-being.”

Find out more here;

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #MomentsForMovement