Getting Moving In Mental Health Awareness Week & Beyond

Getting Moving In Mental Health Awareness Week & Beyond

Sometimes it can be hard to start moving more. Here are some top tips to consider if you or someone you know is just starting to get active, or trying a new way to be active like refereeing.

Decide What To Do, Where To Do It And How Much

It can be overwhelming trying to pick a physical activity or beginning to move more.

One way to overcome this is to think about what you like doing, and what your body is able to do. These can be a good guide to finding an enjoyable and safe activity.

Try and think about where you will feel most comfortable, where you can easily get to and what you find most enjoyable. This could be at home, in a gym, in a park, or outdoors in the community.

Ask yourself whether you feel more comfortable moving around on your own or with others, in person. For different types of physical activity, you might want to be around different people or you might want to be on your own.

It can be confusing to figure out how much movement you should do. There are lots of different messages about the ‘right’ amount of activity.

But we’re all different.

It’s important to bear in mind your needs, ability, preferences, and to be kind to yourself. Any form of movement that you can do safely is a great way to start.

How To Get Started In Refereeing

Doing too much at first could make you feel tired and may put you off, so start off slowly and build your level of movement up incrementally. It’s also best to adapt the activity to your needs.

For example, there are lots of different ways to get involved in refereeing. You can try volunteering to officiate school matches or small sided games in a variety of roles; and you can work up to signing up for the full course with your local association, to become a fully qualified referee, over a number of weeks, safe in the knowledge that you will get support from the tutors as you complete the course.

As you begin to move more, remember to celebrate your achievements by keeping a diary, rewarding yourself when you reach a milestone or telling a friend or colleague about them.

There are ways to record your progress and celebrate your persistence. This recognition aims to give a sense of pride and encourages officials to continue and aim for their next goal or milestone.

Movement, Medication And Mental Health

If you have a physical or mental health problem, this may affect the type or amount of movement you can make. It’s important to think about this and make sure what you’re doing is safe before starting any activity.

Some medication can cause side effects that might make movement difficult or uncomfortable, and some side effects can even be dangerous when being active.

The patient information leaflet that comes with any medication should have information about this. You can also talk to your doctor about any side effects that you’re worried about, or other healthcare professionals if you have any questions about certain types of physical activity.

Mental health conditions can also sometimes lead to more complicated experiences with movement. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be active, but you might need to think about the type of movement and environment that will meet your needs. Starting with gentle activity in an environment you feel comfortable in may help. Don’t forget to speak to your doctor if you need more advice.

Movement has lots of benefits for our mental and physical wellbeing. It can help with things like:

  • Managing stress

  • Improving sleep

  • Improving your mood

  • Improving confidence

  • Connecting with nature

  • Socialising and meeting new people

  • Managing symptoms of depression and anxiety

  • Memory and brain functioning

  • Heart, muscle and bone health

  • Reducing the risk of developing some long-term health conditions, such as heart disease

How To Incorporate Movement Into Everyday Life

If you want to include more movement in your day-to-day life, consider how you can move more throughout the day.

This could be stretching your arms when you’re sitting down or walking around while brushing your teeth.

You could also make chores more active. For example, you could try carrying bags of shopping in one at a time. Or doing chores that involve more movement, like hoovering, cleaning or DIY.

Gardening is a great way to be active and connect with nature. If you don’t have a garden at home, check for any social gardens or gardening charities near you.

Self-guided or instructor-led programmes can give structure to your activity. Remember, it’s ok if you can’t do all the activities in the programmes.

If you’d like to find out how you can become a referee your in country, Click Here.

Refereeing is for everyone. Refereeing could be for you.

‘Movement: Moving more for our mental health’ is the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Since 2001, the Mental Health Foundation has been leading Mental Health Awareness Week – bringing together the UK to focus on getting good mental health. Each May, millions of people from every part of society take part. They include people in schools and further education; private, public and charity sectors; families and individuals.  Find out more about Mental Health Foundation Here. #MomentsForMovement

At The Third Team I work individually and in collaboration with different professionals where I have developed workshops and 1-2-1 sessions associated with Resilience and Mental Toughness Development to help referees. The workshops and 1-2-1 sessions are interactive, where referees are encouraged to open up and share their experiences to help themselves and each other.

Feel free to contact me if you’d like to know more about my workshops or 1-2-1 sessions and how I could help you or your officials.

Best Wishes,

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Nathan Sherratt

Referee Educator & Managing Director of The Third Team

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Nathan Sherratt

Nathan Sherratt, Referee Educator, Resilience Trainer and Managing Director of The Third Team.  A Mental Toughness Practitioner based in Tyne & Wear, North East England.