Exercises that focus on mental health and wellbeing
Whilst all exercise is good for improving your mental health, we've pulled together some resources that focus specifically on mindfulness and keeping in touch with your own wellbeing. This includes some yoga, gentler workouts and mindful breathing activities.
These activities vary in length but most can be done from the safety and comfort of your own home or garden. We know life is busy, so most of the activities can be done in a lunch break, or by taking 10-30 minutes out of your day to focus on yourself.
Time To Talk Day 2021: How can I get involved?
1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year, so it's crucial we talk about it. Many people will use sports and group activities to benefit their mental wellbeing, which is why it is so important for schools, hubs and local clubs and teams to get involved.
We know you're unable to meet up right now, but you can get involved online. This Thursday, 4 February 2021, why not reach out to your club members and anyone else who might be struggling to encourage them to talk? It could be something as small as a post on social media to let people know you're there, or you could do one better and arrange a Zoom chat. If you're home-schooling, why not join an assembly to encourage kids to talk about how they're feeling.
It's such a small gesture but you could save a life.
Check out the below PDF on why Time To Talk day is so important, and other ways you can get involved, or visit their website for further resources.
Time To Talk Day 2021: Sports Activity Pack (PDF, 1.1 Mb)
Wellbeing and Coronavirus
If you're isolated or just feeling anxious about Coronavirus, here are some ideas to look after your mental wellbeing:
- Practise relaxation and mindfulness to boost your mood. Take some time out of your day to focus on yourself, be mindful and process the world around you. You could follow an NHS yoga workout to improve strength and tackle stress, try this mindful breathing exercise from Every Mind Matters, and read hints and tips on mindfulness from the NHS.
- Include some physical activity into your day if you can. Going for a short walk outside if you feel safe to do so can help boost your mood and reduce feelings of stress or anxiety. If you are unable to get outside, however, you could do some housework to keep active, or have a little dance around the house to your favourite tunes.
- Keep connected. Whilst the government restrictions currently prevent us from mixing indoors, you can still meet one person from another household for exercise or recreation outdoors. Alternatively, make the most of programs such as Zoom to join an exercise class or keep in touch with friends and family.
- Look to the future. You could research walks you want to do, plan a new cycle route, or get the kids to make a list of five new activities they'd like to try.
Mental health charity Mind has put together detailed advice and information on coronavirus and wellbeing. Check it out for more information and support.
Mindful breathing and exercises
Below you'll find resources on mindful breathing, exercise and yoga playlists which are great light exercises to help your mental health. These can be done by anyone and adapted to suit your needs, abilities and any time constraints you might face.
Getting outdoors for mental wellbeing
Spending some time outside has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels, improve your sleep pattern, and provide a huge boost to your mental health and wellbeing.
Whether you're going for a run, a stroll, a hike, or just being in nature, it's sure to give you a mood boost. If you're wondering where you can go outside to improve your mental health, this could be a nearby walking trail, a coastline, or just a local park. Active Outdoors section provides information on some great places to get outside in Norfolk, such as some of Norfolk's coastal gems, or various walking trails around the county.
In this section, you'll find loads of resources and tips on where you can find remote places near you to get outdoors whilst safely practising social distancing.
Support for mental health
Want to know more about how physical activity can improve your mental health and wellbeing? We've pulled together resources and case studies which show the correlation between being physically active and reduced feelings of stress and anxiety. Check out our insight here.
If you're looking for support or guidance for your own mental health and wellbeing or the wellbeing of someone close to you during this lockdown, below are some resources to help:
- Mind provides information on wellbeing and how to stay positive during these tough times. They also have a Coronavirus information hub to deal with specific mental health concerns relating to Covid-19.
- REST provides a place for people to chat, provide, and receive support for those struggling with their mental health.
- Rethink also provide useful support and advice on how to keep your spirits up during lockdown. They also have a hub of local peer groups and services you could keep in contact with.
- Need to talk to someone? My Black Dog is a group of volunteers who have experienced mental illness and signed up to chat to people who might be suffering or need to talk. It's completely free, and available in the evenings during the week, with extended opening hours at the weekend.
Resources for mental health
Exercise isn't all that can help your wellbeing. Trying something new such as painting, crafting, singing, listening to a new song, playing an instrument, gardening, or watching a film could do wonders for your mental health and wellbeing.
For this reason, we've worked with MIND and the Wellbeing service to compile a huge list of resources of places you can try something new. Owing to the Coronavirus pandemic, many of these are unable to meet in person, but you'll find many of them offer Zoom sessions to get you going!