On Monday 24 September, 30 of our Wandsworth service users met to soak up the sunshine of a crisp autumn morning and to take part in a mindfulness walk in King George’s Park, designed to improve physical and mental wellbeing. The walk was organised in partnership with Enable Sport and Leisure (Wandsworth), as part of the European Week of Sport in partnership with ukactive initiative to get people more active.
The trail had participants taking part in a 30 minute walk around the park, taking in the sights and sounds of autumn by the Wandle, and encouraged a wide range of mindful activities including engaging with nature through walking barefoot on the grass, taking tree bark rubbings, and actively engaging with their surroundings. The walk was also a great opportunity to socialise ; one participant “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the walk today, it has got me out and about in the fresh air and talking to people!”
Participants were supplied with pedometers to measure their movements, and together racked up over 90,000 steps during the walk. They had worked up quite an appetite after the walk, so enjoyed a nutritious buffet meal at Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind’s wellbeing hub in Tooting.
As well as promoting the benefits of physical activity on tackling some of the symptoms of mental health difficulties, participants were invited to take part in a peer-led workshop on healthy eating.The workshop focussed on how to incorporate healthier and more nutritional elements to people’s diets, and was followed by a session of relaxation and breathing exercises.
“What a productive & informative day – a led walk, healthy lunch, healthy eating talk and relaxation workshop to wind down.” said one participant.
By raising awareness of the importance of physical health on mental wellbeing, BWW Mind and Enable L&C (Wandsworth) aimed to support people experiencing mental health difficulties, such as depression and bipolar disorder, to build their confidence to engage in physical activity and to make more informed choices about their physical health. There is good evidence to suggest that, as well as improving physical health, regular exercise can boost your mood, help beat stress and even reduce risk of depression.
BWW Mind regularly runs sessions aimed at supporting individuals experiencing a mental health difficulty to take part in community-based activities to improve their confidence and take steps to improving their mental wellbeing. See our full list of services here.