Date published: 10 May 2024

Mersey Care is marking Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW - 13 to 19 May) by launching a new campaign urging people to move more and helps improve their mental wellbeing.

One of the largest mental and community health Trusts in the country, Mersey Care has developed a range of materials aimed at encouraging people to move in line with the theme for MHAW – ‘Moving more for our mental health.’

Dr Noir Thomas, Mersey Care’s Chief Medical Officer, said: “We know that exercise, can help boost energy, reduce stress and improve self-esteem”.

“All of these factors are vital in ensuring a full recovery from mental illness. No matter how big or small – even if it’s just a short walk through the park – getting outside and enjoying exercise can help us all feel better.”

Mersey Care’s ‘Move More’ package includes a new animation (see below) encouraging people to join the campaign, inspirational quotes from our staff and volunteers who have shared how improving their physical health has had a positive impact on their mental health, and tips for how you can get moving (see below).

Find moments for movement every day

Even during busy times, you can find small moments to move, for example during waiting times for daily activities such as boiling the kettle or waiting for a bus. These small bursts of movement can add up over time.

Set small, achievable goals

Begin with manageable goals, such as walking to the end of your street, and gradually push yourself a little further each day. Progressing in small steps can boost your confidence and mood as you achieve your goals.

Take a break from sitting

Prolonged sitting, whether at work or during leisure time, can negatively impact on our mental and physical health. Set reminders to stand up, walk around, and stretch regularly throughout the day to give yourself a boost.

Find the fun

Choose physical activities that you genuinely enjoy, as enjoyment increases motivation and has psychological benefits. Rather than viewing movement as a chore, take part in activities that bring joy and excitement, such as dancing or playing sports.

Connect with others

Engaging in physical activities with friends not only provides opportunities for movement but also helps social connections, which are great for our mental health. Think about ways to make your catch-up with friends more active.

Move in nature

Spending time and engaging in physical activity in the outdoors has been shown to have greater positive effects on mental health compared to indoor activities. Take advantage of parks, nature trails, or local green spaces for your movement activities to reap the benefits of nature on our mental wellbeing.

Try something new

Exploring new activities or hobbies introduces variety into our routine and can lead to new opportunities for movement, social interaction, and personal growth. Having the courage to try something new will also give your confidence a boost.

Listen to the music that gets you moving

Music has a powerful impact on our mood and motivation. Create a playlist of your favourite upbeat songs that inspire movement. Turn them up and have a living room disco where you can dance like no-one’s watching!

These tips aim to make incorporating movement into your daily life both enjoyable and beneficial for your mental health. More information about keeping active can also be found on Mersey Care’s website. 

Inspirational quotes from our staff and volunteers  

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