Did you know that it is currently National Tree Week here in the UK? I didn’t, until just recently!
Started in 1975 by The Tree Council following an outbreak of Dutch Elm disease which led to nationwide replanting, National Tree Week strives to raise awareness among people about the benefits and needs of trees, as well as encourages communities to positively impact their local landscape by planting and protecting trees.
As a related aside, if you live in the UK and are interested in supporting woodland preservation and the restoration of ancient woodland then I’d urge you to check out The Woodland Trust. I’ve been a member for a few years now, and I think they do great work around the country.
Taking a leaf from National Tree Week’s book, here now are a few facts worth knowing about trees and forests.
Like 1 in 13 people worldwide¹, I have a history with anxiety. My specific mental health journey has involved developing generalized anxiety around the age of 12, my first panic attack occurring when I was 17, and the onset of moderate depression shortly thereafter. Thankfully, I kicked the depression by my second year of university, and I haven’t had a panic attack since 2014. Generally mild yet persistent anxiety and obsessive compulsive tendencies linger still, but I’ve become much better at recognizing my triggers and knowing instinctively what I need to do for myself to relieve my mental muddle.
Now in my late 20s, I’ve found another, rather surprising tool to add to my mental health mending kit – video games!
While I fondly remember the classic Game Boy ‘brick’ my parents gifted me with as a child, I didn’t truly delve into gaming until around the start of last year. Playing console games has opened up a whole new world (…many worlds, in fact) of entertainment. Not only that, but playing many of these games has helped me better manage my anxieties – and here’s how.