Move more to benefit your mental health

Next month, the UK will celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week between Monday May 13 and Sunday May 19 2024. The theme for the year is ‘moving more for our mental health’.

As we all know, exercise has been proven time and again to relieve anxiety and depression by reducing cortisol levels and releasing more serotonin into the body. 

According to Mental Health UK, those struggling with mental health illnesses have an average 20-year shorter life span. These individuals are said to be more likely to develop conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, bowel cancer and breast cancer.

Research by the organisation shows that 56 per cent of respondents believed exercising regularly helped them to alleviate stress and prevent burnout.

The charity Mind says that each year, one in four people struggle with their mental health and yet, more than two million people are waiting for access to NHS mental health services.

It can sometimes be difficult to see beyond our own difficulties but supporting one another is often key to healing when it comes to mental health. Loneliness can be a contributing factor in mental health struggles – feeling misunderstood or alone can perpetuate the cycle.

Here are some tips for supporting a friend or family member who is struggling with their mental health:

Offering support – Many people find it difficult to accept help. They may feel embarrassed, or simply think you won’t understand their struggle. It is important to realise your own limits and be practical about what help you can really offer.

Given the theme of this year’s mental health awareness week, a great example of offering support might be to suggest working out together – even if it is simply going for a walk.

Remain open-minded – Avoid phrases such as ‘it will pass’, ‘pull yourself together’, or ‘cheer up’. These phrases might appear to trivialise a person’s angst.

Instead, listen without judgement and avoid trying to overload people with your own ‘wisdom’. In many cases, the person you are trying to support will know what they need, and the key is to make yourself approachable so that they will seek support and they will feel comfortable coming to you.

Don’t focus on their mental health issue – It is important to remember that a person is not defined by their mental health issue. Whilst it can be helpful to offer help and support, it is just as important to avoid dwelling on the negative. Remember, a person struggling with their mental health often simply wants to feel ‘normal’ and be treated as such.

Remember to focus on yourself too – Supporting somebody with mental health issues can be stressful and often puts pressure on your own wellbeing. Mind recommends that you:

Specialist PR agency

We at Famous Publicity serve clients who want support from public relations professionals who can assist them with their communication programmes.  Our work includes PR strategy, media liaison, writing, marketing, brochure and web design.

Our clients want support from people who will be proactive in their approach and who have their clients’ interests at the heart of what they do.

Based in Surrey, we serve clients from around the globe looking for a positive impact to their communications activity.

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