Mental Health Awareness Week

 

BACK TO MAIN INDEX

 

13th to 19th May 2024: Moving more for our mental health

One of the most important things we can do to help protect our mental health is regular movement. Our bodies and our minds are connected. Looking after ourselves physically also helps us prevent problems with our mental health.

Movement is a great way to enhance our wellbeing. Even a short burst of 10 minutes’ brisk walking can boost our mood and increase our mental alertness and energy. Movement helps us feel better about our bodies and improve self-esteem. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety and help us to sleep better.

If you’d like to get moving more, this guide will give you some ideas to get started as well as tips on how to get the best mental health benefits from the movement you’re doing.

 

Find moments for movement every day

Waiting for the kettle to boil, the bus to arrive or to pick up the children?  Use these moments to do some exercise such as marching on the spot or stretching.

 

Set small achievable goals

At the beginning, set yourself small goals.  It might be walking to the end of the street. Then push yourself to go a little further each day.  Take note of your progress – keep a journal.

 

Take a break from sitting

Set a timer to take regular breaks to stand up, walk about and stretch your body.

 

Find the fun!

Don’t think of exercise as a chore – find the joy!  Have you heard of Geocaching?  It’s free and will get you out in the local area to find hidden treasure.

 

Connect with others

Social connections are great for our mental health and wellbeing. Thing about ways you can make your catch ups with friends and family more active. There are lots of local walking groups. Take a look at your local notice board or social media groups.

 

Don’t compare yourself to others – we are all different

You don’t have to be sporty to get the mental health benefits that come with more movement.  Focus on you and don’t feel pressured to keep up with someone else.

 

And rest…..

Taking time to rest is important, especially if you have been using up a lot of energy. Try to priortise time for rest and establish a result and relaxing routine that lets you unwind.

Published: May 8, 2024