Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

mental health awareness week logo

In the UK this week, 13th – 19th May, it is Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year, chosen by the Mental Health Foundation, is "Movement: Moving More for Our Mental Health".

Physical activity is a powerful tool that can significantly boost our emotional wellbeing. Whether it's a brisk walk in nature, a dance session in your kitchen, or some tai-chi, getting our bodies moving can have a profound impact on our minds.

Why Move for Mental Health?

Exercise releases endorphins, natural mood elevators that combat feelings of stress and anxiety. It can also improve sleep quality, a crucial factor for mental wellbeing. Additionally, physical activity can be a form of mindfulness, helping us focus on the present moment and reduce negative thoughts.

Finding Your #MomentsForMovement

The beauty of this year's theme is that movement isn't a one-size-fits-all concept. There are countless ways to get active and improve your mental health. Remembering to do what is right for you.

Here are some ideas:
  • Go for a walk in nature. Immersing yourself in green spaces has a calming effect and can reduce stress levels.
  • Dust off your dancing shoes! Put on some music and let loose. Dancing is a fun way to get exercise and boost your mood.
  • Take a tai-chi, yoga or pilates class. These practices combine physical movement with mindfulness, promoting relaxation and stress reduction.
  • Join a group movement class. The social interaction and accountability can be motivating and help you stay on track.
  • Find an activity you enjoy. Maybe it's swimming, biking, or playing a sport. Choose something you find fun, so you're more likely to stick with it.

How I Find My #MomentsForMovement with my own "Four Pillars of Practice"

The beauty of this year's theme is that movement isn't a one-size-fits-all concept. There are countless ways to get active and improve your mental health. Here's how I integrate movement with my four pillars of practice:
  • Mindfulness: I will often take a mindful walk, focusing on the sensations of my body moving, the sound of my breath, and the sights and smells around me. This practice combines mindful meditation with gentle physical activity.
  • Shamanism: Shamanic journeying often involves rhythmic drumming or movement to induce an altered state of consciousness. Try incorporating movement like dancing or shaking into your shamanic journeys to explore your inner world.
  • Coaching: As a coach, I can help you identify activities you enjoy and set realistic goals for incorporating movement into your life. We can explore any challenges or roadblocks that might be preventing you from being more active.
  • LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®: This method uses LEGO bricks to build metaphors and models that represent your thoughts and feelings. Building and playing with LEGO can be a surprisingly active process, especially when working collaboratively.

Spreading Awareness and Supporting Ourselves and Others

Mental Health Awareness Week is a great opportunity to raise awareness about mental health and fight stigma. Share your #MomentsForMovement on social media to inspire others. You can also participate in local events or fundraisers organized by mental health charities.

Most importantly, this week is a reminder to prioritize your own mental wellbeing. Find ways to move your body and mind, and don't be afraid to reach out for help if you need it.

Helpful Resources:

Mental Health Foundation: mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw
Mental Health UK: mentalhealth-uk.org/mhaw
Mental Health First Aid: mhfaengland.org/mhaw

If you are interested in learning more about how I can help you, please drop me a message on LinkedIn, or get in touch to find out more.


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