So as most of you will know, it’s been a very important week in the Happynesshub calendar – Mental Health Awareness Week! The theme of MHAW 2021 has been ‘Nature’; which for many of us has been so very relevant over this past year, when we’ve been kept apart from our usual entertainments and have become accustomed to our daily walks. I take joy in seeing how much Archie Archibald enjoys his walks; even when it’s a route we’ve done many times, he always finds something new to sniff or discover. Dogs are truly naturally mindful – another reason why I chose to focus on dogs for the world of my wonderful Bow-Wowza! I haven’t spoken about Bow-Wowza here for a little while, but it has played an important role in MHAW for both us, and the wonderful charity Beyond, our frequent collaborators and friends. The lovely team over at Beyond chose to stream one of our Bow-Wowza meditations as part of their Beyond Live MHAW Festival, and I’m told that over 1000 children across the country tuned in for the live streaming. Knowing that our content is reaching children is the most important thing for us, and the wonderful support of Beyond is certainly helping us to do that.

Last week, yet again, Beyond offered our younger generation an abundance of fabulous free resources all to support children’s mental health. One of our Bow-Wowza nature-related activities that I am sharing with you today is a Happynesshub favourite: the awe walk. There is plenty of evidence to show that time spent in nature is beneficial for children’s (and grown ups’!) emotional wellbeing. Being outside has been shown to improve children’s attention spans, their creativity, their social skills, and even their learning – in fact, though many parents worry that time spent outside is less time spent studying, children who are taught in an outdoors context are more excited to learn and have stronger reading and writing skills (read more about this here, on the Greater Good for Science Centre website!). So even though Bow-Wowza is a digital offering, it’s really important to us that we encourage children to get outdoors and be practical.

And why not follow these instructions for grown-ups, and go on a wonderfully inspiring awe walk? It truly can make the world of difference!