This month we are going to take some time to focus on movement. More specifically “Moving your Mood” (movement that will increase your mood and wellbeing).
SHINE and Movement!
In some of our SHINE programs, we talk to students about the importance of physical health and mental health and the interconnection between the two. Often, to illustrate this, we draw a Venn-diagram similar to the one below:
We give each student a sticky note and ask them to write down one positive thing they could do for their health. Once the students are ready with their post-it notes, they are instructed to place it on the Venn-diagram where they think it belongs. (If it’s something that would positively impact their physical health they place the note under the heading “Physical Health”, and if they think it fits more under mental health, they could place their note under “Mental Health”). They also were able to place their note where the circles overlap if they thought it would positively impact both their physical and their mental health.
After all of the notes were on the diagram, we go through them all by reading them out loud and discussing as a class if everyone agrees with were the note was placed. Then we pick up all of the notes that are under the headings Physical Health and Mental Health and move them all to the center of the diagram where the circles overlap. Why is this? Why do the SHINE coaches think that every answer the students gave would positively impact both their mental and their physical health?
Sometimes it’s very difficult to imagine that our mental health and our physical health is always connected. It is hard for us to understand taking deep breaths to calm our feelings can positively impact our physical health because our feelings and the rest of our bodies feel so separate. But we then explain to the students that physical health discusses the health of our bodies and mental health discusses the health of our brains. They learn that in order for the body to function and survive, it needs a brain and in order for our brain to function and survive, it needs a body. So our mental and physical health is much more connected than we might think, both work together to ensure our overall health and wellbeing.
Why are we talking about this connection?
SHINE is a Mental Health Capacity Building program. Our work in schools and in the community of Lloydminster is focused around supporting children and families through teaching mental health related programs. It is important for us to bring up the mind-body connection and to encourage students, community members and ourselves to get moving because it is not only good for your physical health, but also your mental health and your overall wellbeing.
We are not asking you to start a whole new workout plan”.
“Shifting our focus and energy to activities that make us feel good, relieve stress and allow us to create a deeper connection with our body can help us to cultivate a more positive relationship with movement. It’s also important to remember that all forms of movement count toward your physical activity. Going for walks, practicing yoga, bird watching and other low impact activities share many of the same benefits as intense workouts” -(University of Colorado Boulder – Health and Wellness Services)
The University of Colorado Boulder also made up a physical activity interest worksheet that details some ways to get moving and allows you to figure out what might be a good fit. Click below to see this worksheet and to try it out for yourself.
SHINE Coaches will also provide some ideas of physical activities that we choose to do enhance our mental and physical health through our Facebook and Instagram posts in April and May 2022.
Remember that it is always fun to try something new and act based on your own passions and interests but of course always make sure that you are safe and take necessary steps to avoid injuries – especially when trying something new!