Mental Health Awareness Week – Day Five

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Having good physical health can have a positive impact on mental health. Physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our mental wellbeing and the best part is that if you can’t commit to a weekly class, just a short ten minute brisk walk can increase mental alertness, energy and positive mood. That said, participation in regular physical activity can increase self-esteem, relive stress and anxiety and boost your mood therefore improving the quality of life of people experiencing mental health problems as well as preventing the development of mental health problems to start with.

Firefighters must be physically fit to be able to do their jobs as they have hot and humid atmospheres to work in, dark and confined spaces and long demanding hours. Therefore firefighters may undertake other practices in order to rebalance their mental health and today we are visiting Brockholes Nature Reserve in Preston to look at mindfulness in nature. The Mental health Foundation describes mindfulness as: “Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga. It helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that, instead of being overwhelmed by them, we’re better able to manage them.”

Being mindful in nature promotes a happier mood, less stressed, relaxation and all the other benefits of being outdoors. Lancashire Fire and Rescue have also introduced yoga sessions and have held classes at our Headquarters and Blackburn station this week. Yoga poses and breathing techniques have been designed to strengthen the body and mind and the classes have been well received by staff and is something we hope will be a permanent fixture.

Caring for your mental health is equally as important as caring for your physical health and the two go hand in hand.