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Tips and Tricks - 15-05-2024 - - 0 comments
Moving More for Your Mental Health

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week! 2024’s theme of the year is “Move More for Your Mental Health”, and we’ve asked the Smile team about what this means to them.

Firstly, What are Smile Doing About Mental Health?

At Smile, we understand that mental health is complex and far-ranging. Safeguarding our team’s mental health is hugely important to us, and we understand that doing this requires real action, as well as a commitment to creating a supportive environment for our colleagues.

As well as committing to a roadmap of initiatives set out by Mental Health in Recruitment, we have a multitude of mental health first-aiders in the team who have all undergone training to identify and support those who need it. We provide accessible resources to support our team, as well as company-wide policies that help support work-life balance and prevent burnout.

How is Moving More Beneficial to Mental Health?

According to the Mental Health Foundation, regular movement is one of the most important things we can do to “help protect our mental health”. They also note that by looking after ourselves physically, we can help to prevent issues with our mental health as our “bodies and minds are connected”.

According to the charity, regular movement can support an improved mood, reduce anxiety and lower inflammation. Not only this, but exercise and more movement in general can even go on to support memory and concentration, and improve your sleep.

What Does “Moving More” Even Mean?

While it might sound like a simple suggestion, the advice to “move more” doesn’t mean that you can prevent mental health issues by running a marathon on your lunch break.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, even a 10-minute brisk walk can help boost our mood and increase mental alertness. It’s about getting your heart rate up a little bit and moving your body in a way that feels good for you, whatever that means.

What Can I Do?

Everyone has a different relationship to exercise, and getting out to the park for a jog or lifting weights at the gym might not be right, or even possible for everyone. Busy teaching schedules and long commutes can mean that popping your trainers on after work might seem like the last thing you want to do. but since the advice from the Mental Health Foundation is simply to “move more”, that gives you scope to do so many different things – it doesn’t have to be what everyone else is doing.

The Mental Health Foundation have advised that it’s important not to be too hard on yourself if you struggle to get moving. 

Here’s some ideas:

·        Go for a quick 10-minute walk with your favourite music, audiobook or podcast

·        Follow a yoga video on YouTube

·        Play a game with friends or family like rounders 

·        Dance to a couple of your favourite songs

·        Try out some of the exercises in this document

Inspiration from the Smile Team

Olivia: Lunchtime Walks

“Lunchtime dog walks are a great chance to reflect after a busy morning at work and go into the afternoon with a clear mind”.

(The dog’s name is Elton!)


Hannah: Pilates

“I enjoy Pilates for my mental health. I find it beneficial to have the hour to myself, no phone!”


Jo: Wild Swimming

“Wild swimming is great for my mental health. When you’re swimming in colder water than usual, it feels like a clear sign to your brain that you can get through hard things and situations you find difficult by breathing slowly and staying calm. It’s surprising how quickly your body adapts when you let it, which allows you experience some really beautiful places! Make sure you stay safe, start slow and don’t go alone if you’re planning on trying it out for the first time. This picture was taken in the Fairy Glen, Betws-y-Coed, and the water felt FREEZING but I was so proud that I did it!”


Katy: Volunteering and Dog Walking

“This is me out walking with Swifty the greyhound. I like to volunteer at the local greyhound charity, Home Run Hounds, in my spare time. I find that giving back makes me feel really good, I enjoy socialising with the other volunteers, different conversations with different people, and the exercise as well, as well as getting the opportunity to be with the beautiful, beautiful dogs.”


If you need to talk to someone and want to access support directly, you can use the following helplines:

·        Samaritans: open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call 116 123 for free or email

·        SANEline: If you’re experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else on 0300 304 7000. Lines are open between 4:30pm-10pm every day.

·        National Suicide Prevention Helpline: Call 0800 689 5652. This is open from 6pm to midnight every day.

·        Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): Call 0800 58 58 58 from 5pm to midnight every day.

·        Shout: You can text SHOUT to 85258 for a confidential 24/7 text service.

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