It’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 in the UK and it’s the perfect time to start talking about our mental health.

This year’s theme is “Movement,” emphasising the importance of incorporating physical activity into our daily lives. Mental health is something we all have and just like our physical health, it needs attention and care. Let’s dive into why movement matters and how we can incorporate it into our lives.

Why movement matters

Physical activity is not just about staying fit, it’s also crucial for our mental wellbeing. Here’s why:

Reduces stress: Exercise can help reduce stress levels. Physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters.

Combats depression and anxiety: Regular exercise can significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. It can also boost your overall mood and sense of wellbeing.

Improves sleep: Engaging in regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper sleep.

Boosts self-esteem: Achieving fitness goals and feeling stronger can improve your self-esteem and confidence.

Increases energy levels: Exercise improves your overall energy levels and can make daily tasks feel easier.

How to get involved

Get active: Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Whether it’s a morning jog, an evening yoga session or a dance class, find what works for you.

Join a group: Exercise with friends or join a fitness class. Group activities can make exercise more enjoyable and help you stay motivated.

Take breaks: If you have a desk job, take regular breaks to move around. Short walks or stretches can make a big difference.

Try something new: Explore new forms of exercise. Whether it’s walking, swimming or trying a new sport, new activities can be exciting and beneficial.

Participate in events: Join local or virtual events aimed at promoting physical activity and mental health. These can include charity runs, fitness challenges and community sports days.

Events

Mental Health Awareness Week is packed with events designed to get you moving and raise awareness. Here’s what’s on the agenda:

Fitness workshops: Various workshops on stress management through movement, yoga sessions and fitness routines. These workshops provide practical tools and techniques for incorporating physical activity into your life.

Webinars: Join online discussions with fitness and mental health experts. These webinars cover a range of topics, from the benefits of exercise to how to stay motivated.

Community events: Participate in local meet-ups, group runs, and fitness classes. These events are a great way to meet new people and stay active.

Fundraisers and awareness campaigns: Many organisations host charity runs and fitness challenges. Getting involved in these can help raise money for mental health services and spread important messages.

Takeaway

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 is a reminder of how vital it is to connect with one another. In a world where we often prioritise busy schedules and digital interactions, taking the time to build real, meaningful connections can make all the difference. Whether it’s reaching out to a friend, attending a local event or learning more about mental health, every action counts.

Let’s make this Mental Health Awareness Week count. Reach out, connect, and support each other. Together, we can break the stigma and make a positive impact on mental health. It’s okay not to be okay and there is always help available. Let’s keep the conversation going beyond this week and make mental health a priority every day.


Support resources

It’s important to know where to turn for help. Here are some valuable resources available in the UK:

Mind   |   Samaritans   |   Rethink Mental Illness   |   YoungMinds   |   NHS Mental Health Services

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