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Simply moving around more each day can improve our mental health significantly. Movement is important for your mental health as it can increase your energy, reduce stress and anxiety, and boost your self-esteem. Life’s busy, and it can often be hard to find the time for wellbeing-boosting activities. However, there are many different times in your day you can get moving that you may not realise. Why not use the time you spend waiting to move more? When you’re waiting for the kettle to boil; the internet to load; the kids to come out of school; the bus to arrive; or the dinner to cook. Even short periods of movement each day will add up. Read below for some tips from the Mental Health Foundation on how to get moving more for your mental health.


Find moments for movement every day

As mentioned before, how often do you find yourself ‘waiting’ throughout the day? These moments add up. If you use the time you spend waiting to get moving, that will add up too. You could march on the spot, do some stretches or try some chair exercises.


Set small, achievable goals

Set yourself small goals and push yourself a little further each day. If you start too big, you might end up not achieving the goal you made which can be discouraging. By starting small, you can build up your movement each day. You could create a movement journal so you can track your progress.


Take a break from sitting

Many of us find ourselves sitting for long periods during the day; whether that be due to working at desks, driving, sitting down to browse the internet, watching tv or reading a book.

Research shows it is unhealthy to be sitting or not moving for long periods of time. Why not set a timer to take regular breaks to stand up, walk around and stretch if you are sitting for a while.


Find the fun

When choosing a way to get moving, it is important you find something you enjoy. Instead of thinking of exercise as a chore, embrace your inner child and find the joy in movement. Fun and laughter alongside movement will increase your motivation and the psychological benefits.

Why not play games like tag with friends and family? Or, you could go for a picnic in the park and a game of rounders. If you have younger children, why not ask them to teach you their playground games and you can play together. You could even teach them the games you used to play as a kid.

There are also different online games and apps that can get you out and about – such as Geocatching or Pokemon Go.


Connect with others

Getting active is a great way to strengthen relationships or even make new friends by taking part in movement activities with other people. Check out what groups and activities take place in your local area. Being a part of a club or a team is a great way to increase your self-esteem and help reduce feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety.

Why not try and make catch-ups with friends more active? Instead of meeting in a coffee shop, you could get your coffee to go and take a walk. Or you could go for a swim.


Movement looks different for everyone, don’t compare yourself to others

Sometimes, it can be nerve wracking to think about getting active if you’re worried that you can’t keep up with others. Remember, everyone moves at their own pace, and you don’t have to be super sporty to benefit mentally from getting active.

Focus on yourself and don’t worry about what others are doing.


Be mindful about your movement

Often, we’re moving without even realising it. For example, when cleaning, food shopping or walking to work.

Try to be mindful about how you are moving, and the way it makes you feel both physically and mentally. Notice how you’re breathing, the sights and sounds around you, how the air feels on your face – this can help you relax and feel less stressed.

Practicing mindfulness can help with this. For example, you can practice mindful walking.

Remember to recognise and celebrate your moments for movement, big and small.


Moving in nature

Research suggests that being active in an outdoor ‘green’ environment has a greater positive effect on our mental wellbeing compared to doing activity indoors.

Even if you live in the city, nature is often close by. Parks, gardens, nature reserves and forests all provide opportunities for exercise, movement and meeting new people. You could find opportunities to get moving such as a walking group, gardening club, or volunteering for woodland and park maintenance.


Try something new

Pushing ourselves to try new things opens us up to new opportunities for movement, making new friends and having fun. Having the courage to try something new will also give your confidence a boost. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.

Plan things to look forward to

Having events and plans to look forward to is great for your mental health as it can bring a sense of excitement and hope for the future.


Listening to music that gets you moving

We all have our favourite tunes that get us up and dancing, so crank them up and dance like no-one’s watching! Why not play your favourite song when you get up in the morning and dance around to put yourself in a good mood for the day ahead?


Be kind to yourself, moving more is self-care

It can be hard to get up and moving when your mental health is poor. Some days, even the simplest of tasks can seem daunting. It’s easier said than done, but the days you lack in motivation or are feeling low are likely when you’ll see the biggest boost to your mood by getting moving.

If you’re struggling to get up to leave your bed or the house, take advantage of the times you have to get up; for example, when going to the bathroom or to get a drink, try and do a bit of movement such as stretches, lunges or marching on the spot.

If you feel anxious to go outside, there are lots of home workouts online you could try.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re struggling to get moving. Take small steps when you can, and they’ll soon build up. Be kind to yourself, a little goes a long way.


Don’t forget to rest

Taking time to rest is important for our mental health, too; especially if you’ve been using up a lot of energy. Try and prioritise time for rest and establish a regular, relaxing routine to help you unwind.


Celebrate your achievements

Congratulate yourself for taking care of your body and mind! Make sure to reward yourself too with something you enjoy. Celebrating your achievements is a great way of generating positive thoughts and feelings, which is beneficial for your mental health and can also help you stay motivated.


Best wishes from,

Claire’s School Solutions x


Source: the above advice and information was sourced from