Staying active can be a difficult task when your mental wellbeing is suffering. Here are 8 ways your mental health can benefit from a more active life.
People struggling with their mental health can be affected in so many different ways. It can be impossible to write an entire list of disorders or types of depression – it’s that widespread. However, there are so many ways we can make ourselves feel a little better and staying active is one of them. Not only can travelling around a bit help us to concentrate on the beautiful world around us, but physical activity can positively change our mood due to chemical changes in the brain. It’s a fact!
As well as actually putting some new things into practice in your life, it’s equally important for people to learn more about mental health and the psychology behind it. For this post, I’ve teamed up with SLV Global, who provide student work experience placements abroad in the psychology and mental health sector. Together, we’ve compiled a list of things you can do to stay active when you need a little bit of a pick-me-up.
First things first; understand other people’s needs.
Learning about mental health is an important part of life. Thousands of people in the world are fighting a battle you may know nothing about, or one you might not even know exists. Research how others can be affected by their mental health, and, if you’re interested in studying further, take advantage of a mental health internship or psychology volunteering placement.
1. Make sure you’re getting the right amount of exercise.
According to the NHS, young adults and above need around 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. That number seems a little excessive, don’t you think? However, when split over each day, that works out at just over 20 minutes, which seems a little more achievable!
2. Fast walking or a light jog.
When you’re comfortable having a light walk around the block each day, try and up your game to a fast walk or a light jog. Take friends with you to make it a more enjoyable experience, or, if you’d much prefer time on your own, then do it! It’s all about finding your comfort zones and slowly branching out of them.
If you have a look around, there’ll be a few nice cycling spots close by that you can take advantage of. Make it a part of your daily routine to get out into the countryside. The fresh air and beautiful scenery will give off those positive signals in your brain, lightening your mood.
4. Start a gym membership.
To some, paying for exercise seems like a waste of money. However, it works! A gym membership can force you to get out there and work up a sweat. Not only will it make you feel full of life, but it’s great for your mental state too.
5. Go abroad.
Your mental health shouldn’t be a barrier against really enjoying yourself. If you’re at a stage where you’re feeling more positive, going abroad and seeing different countries can be a huge lift. Start a little closer to home and branching out when you feel the urge.
6. Visit a place you’ve never been before.
It can be a little daunting being in an unfamiliar place. Even more so when you’re alone. Take baby steps; visit places close by that you’ve never been, such as a new place in the village, town, city or even country. One step at a time. Even see if there are any new activities here on offer that you’ve never tried.
7. Set active goals.
No matter what you choose to start with, set your own goals. Start with 5 or 10 minutes of activity, 2 or 3 times per week. Then, increase this amount bit by bit until you’re comfortable getting out and about each day. Achieving your own personal goals is great for positive thinking.
8. Got kids? Go for an adventure.
We’d all love to spend a little more time with the kids. After all, they don’t stay little long! Whether it’s a walk to the park or getting our hands dirty making mud pies, that quality time with the ones you love can really help to improve your mental wellbeing and state of mind. Having memories to look back upon will also make you realise how far you’ve come.
Your mental health is important; look after it the best you can.
No matter your mental state right now or how severe your mental health has been in the past, there are always steps you can try to take to make a positive difference. Follow the tips above and hopefully they’ll be able to give you a better outlook on life.
This post was in collaboration with SLV Global, mental health and psychology placement providers for students. For more information about what they offer or to get in contact, visit their website: https://www.slv.global.