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Mental Health Awareness Week: Moving For Your Mental Health

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​Being active is important for our mental health. It can increase our energy, reduce stress and anxiety, and boost self-esteem. But so many of us struggle to get enough exercise. We know there are many different reasons for this, so this Mental Health Awareness Week we want to help people to find moments for movement in their daily routines.

Here, our colleagues share how they incorporate movement into their daily routines and how it helps their mental health, plus some of the coping methods they use to deal with situations in the workplace!

Michele Jackson, Delivery Manager

"I’m probably guilty, along with most I’d assume, of not moving more. My smart watch alerts me when it’s time to move, and I have a sit/stand desk to support incorporating more movement throughout my working day. Something I mentioned to the Opus Teach team is that when we have catchups, I’m happy to do them on the mobile, so if the weather is nice, people can take a walk whilst having a weekly drop-in.

Other things I do to protect and improve my mental health include the Pomodoro method for getting through tasks. This is about being focused and carrying out a task for a set period and ensuring you take a break before restarting. I use an app for this (Balance), which has the option for a bit of guidance/meditation during the Pomodoro break but you can use any kind of timer."

Gemma Scogings, Account Manager at Opus Teach

"I find office attendance, gym classes, and lunchtime walks in Christchurch Park are great for my mental health! It’s wonderful working in a team where I feel comfortable sharing how I feel."

Ben Dixon, Head of West Midlands

"I walk around like a madman when I’m on the phone; it makes me more alert but also helps to move away from the desk, so I’m not sat in the same spot day in and day out.

In an office job, it's easy to sit at a screen all day and then spend the entire evening sitting in front of the TV. With this type of role, I’m on the phone for a large proportion of the day, so getting up and moving around allows me to get some secret exercise in. If you do it every day, you will be amazed at how many steps you get in! When I am working from home, my wife thinks I’m mad pacing around the living room, dining room, and up and down the stairs (the key is to make sure you don’t get out of breath whilst on the phone!).

When it comes to work, sometimes I think people find it easier to suffer in silence than ask for help. But it’s important to remember you are only able to complete tasks that are in your skill set. Always try your best but if you are in a situation where you are unable to complete the task, make sure you reach out and ask for help. This is even more important when working from home as nothing is worse than suffering in silence!

Regardless of the outcome, if you look at the end result and know you have done everything to the best of your ability and, if needed, reached out to someone else for guidance, what more could you have possibly done? By looking at all work tasks like this, it can reduce stress and worry because at the end of the day, you can only do your best."

Victoria Butcher, Senior Recruitment Consultant

"Walking, especially in green open spaces (when the British weather allows!) is a great way to de-stress after a challenging day. The best way I personally unwind is to walk or spend time training my dog. Dogs + walking + fresh air is a winning combination to making you feel refreshed and ready to take on any challenge. I find that hybrid working is very beneficial to my mental health also, so it is great to work somewhere that allows us this amazing benefit."

Jazz Dhaliwal, Operations Manager

"Now that the weather is getting warmer as we head towards summer, I plan to utilise my lunch breaks to take daily walks; whether that’s when I’m in the office or working from home. This will enable me to refresh and focus my mind, as well as get my steps in which I’d be less inclined to do at the end of the day!"


Add more movement into your daily routines and check out the Mental Health Foundation’s tips for moving more for your mental health.

For further mental health support, please visit the Mental Health Foundation.