“Got a low, low feeling around me And a stone cold feeling inside And I just can’t stop messing my mind up or wasting my time..” Moving, just keep moving…”

wise words indeed from British Icons Supergrass.

Mental Health Week 2024 focuses on moving more for our mental health, but does it work?

Personally, for me, yes there is huge value in moving. Having worked through a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnosis pre pandemic, I understand what works for me and movement is a huge part of that. As the days grow longer at this time of year and the weather generally improves, my opportunities to become more active just feel easier.

Outside of my support network that I have built and utilised over the years, getting out on the paddleboard works wonders for me, truly. It’s my personal oasis. After work in the late afternoon or early evening, being away from all distractions and temptations provides me the opportunity to relax, to recharge with no tech, no demands just me, the river and the wildlife that surrounds the local water course. When with friends, we will often stop after for a well-earned beer and ‘chew the fat’ as the sun goes down and we pack away our gear. Bliss.

Paddleboarding is a favourite in my wellbeing toolbox, particularly as the football season comes to a close at this time of year, meaning that my opportunities to socialise while supporting the mighty Yeovil Town become less and having this space to explore my wellbeing is a vital part of regulating my emotions as the seasons change.

Since leaving the Fire & Rescue Service world behind me at the end of 2022, I have this year returned to gym. Public gyms were never my thing, after years of maintaining a level of operational fitness through gritted teeth, I have found that in my social time the public gym has been a great way to keep moving, getting me out of the house and allowing for me to change my energy, in fact so much that having a recent arm injury that is currently limiting my gym time, has become a real source of frustration, something I would have never expected to feel previously.

Moving into a small village recently has also boosted my mobility, local treks with my family and our dog have been nothing but rewarding. We all talk about how much better we feel for getting out and about, particularly in the warmer weather with the sun warming us against the breeze.

If you are experiencing a level of low wellbeing, I urge you to get out and about, you might just surprise yourself with how much lighter you may seem on your feet, also embrace the opportunity to try something new, you might just find that once you move outside of your normal routine, that your start to thrive in over aspects of your life.

“So moving, just keep moving.”

Kirk Shortland is Training Lead at Cogito HR & Thought Bubbles, You can connect with Kirk or learn more about his passion for wellbeing on Linkedin.