Overcoming barriers to movement for mental well-being

As Mental Health Awareness Week unfolds, the spotlight shines on this year's theme: Movement - ‘Moving more for our mental health’. There is a lot o of talk about moving for mental health well-being. Conversations everywhere are taking place about the deep connection between physical activity and mental well-being. While the theme inspires many, it can also stir up countless emotions for those struggling with mental health challenges.

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What barriers hold us back?

For some, the concept of movement may seem daunting or unattainable. The pressure to participate in physical activities can intensify feelings of inadequacy or guilt, particularly for individuals struggling with depression or anxiety. The expectation to join the movement may deepen their sense of isolation and disconnection from others.

For others, there may be individuals facing difficult physical health barriers that hinder their ability to engage in movement. Elderly and frail individuals, for instance, may find themselves sidelined, and unable to partake in activities they once enjoyed. For those dependent on others for assistance and support, the inability to join in movement initiatives can worsen feelings of helplessness and frustration.

In the face of these challenges, it's essential to acknowledge the valid fears and concerns that arise. The fear of missing out on opportunities for connection and self-improvement can weigh heavily on individuals already dealing with mental health issues. It's natural to feel apprehensive or uncertain about participating in movement activities, especially when faced with physical limitations or dependencies on others.

However, amongst these challenges, there may be some solutions, practical hints, and tips that can help individuals get through Mental Health Awareness Week with care and resilience.

Overcoming barriers

For those struggling with mental health, it's important to prioritise self-care and self-compassion. Remember that movement looks different for everyone, and even small, gentle activities can have a positive impact on mental well-being. Start by incorporating simple movements into your daily routine, such as stretching or short walks, and gradually build from there.

For those facing physical health barriers, there are still ways to participate in movement initiatives. Adapted exercises, chair yoga, or gentle Tai Chi can offer accessible options for individuals with mobility issues or frailty. Additionally, reaching out to local community centres or support groups may provide opportunities for inclusive movement activities tailored to specific needs.

Lean on support networks and seek professional guidance when needed. Counselling provides a confidential, safe and non-judgmental space for individuals to explore their feelings, address concerns, and develop coping strategies. A qualified counsellor can work collaboratively with individuals to deal with the challenges of Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond.

Finally, Mental Health Awareness Week's theme of movement serves as an important reminder of the fundamental link between physical activity and mental well-being. While it may draw out various emotions and challenges for individuals dealing with mental health issues or physical limitations, there are solutions and support available. By embracing self-compassion, seeking inclusive movement options, individuals can go through this week with resilience and empowerment.

As the 'Mental Health Awareness Week 2024 - Moving More for Your Mental Health' comes to an end, let us move forward together, acknowledging the complexities of mental health and adopting a culture of understanding and support for all.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Birmingham B15 & West Midlands B91
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Written by Sukhi Kaur, Counsellor | Psychotherapist | @ www.chathalife.com
Birmingham B15 & West Midlands B91

Sukhi Kaur, offers personalised, tailored mental health and wellbeing support to individuals. With her compassionate and empathetic approach, Sukhi provides a confidential, safe and non-judgmental space for clients. Convenient and easily accessible one-to-one individual counselling is available online.
Email: sukicounselling@outlook.com

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