The Mental Health Foundation theme for Mental Health Awareness week this year is self ‘body image’, and the MDP are supporting this by our own contribution called: ‘looking after yourself, looking out for each other’.
We are all different in our physical capabilities and equally we all have differences in how well we cope with the stressors that work and our domestic lives may bring us. There is no doubt however that improving physical activity will not only improve physical health but will also assist with our mental health coping strategies.
During Mental Health week therefore in the MDP we challenge all our staff to take the time to consider and engage in activities in two areas; Looking after yourself and looking out for each other.
Looking after yourself– We challenge all of you, at whatever level of fitness, to take the time to increase your physical activity during Mental Health Awareness week by walking a total of 5km, additional to what you would usually do. If walking does not appeal, then identify an equivalent activity that you prefer. The key however is to challenge yourself do some extra activity and then consider if it is something that you might benefit from physically and mentally by adding to your weekly routine.
Looking out for each other – As part of the challengewhy not take the opportunity to look out for the well being of workplace friends and colleagues, or perhaps someone you don’t often spend time with, by sharing your extra walk. This will not only bring you the personal physical benefits but also the opportunity to ‘talk as you walk’ (it doesn’t have to be about work). Remember sometimes people just feel better for a chat – you don’t need to solve their issues.
Let’s hear from you – During Mental Health Awareness Week we would love to hear from you about how you have stepped up your personal physical activity, and have encouraged and engaged with others in doing so. Please send in any stories and pictures that you are content to have published to the MDP Corporate Communications team.
Further information on the benefits of improving physical activity in relation to mental health can be found at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-using-exercise
Justin Oliver, SCS
Mental Health and Wellbeing Champion
Pam Hewitt, Superintendent
Mental Health and Wellbeing Ambassador