R U OK Day: Prioritizing Your Well-Being Through Physiotherapy and Pilates

R U OK Day is a day of action where Australians are reminded to ask their family, friends and colleagues ‘are you OK?’, and to start a meaningful conversation with someone they care about.

About R U OK?
R U OK? is a charity that contributes to suicide prevention efforts by encouraging people to invest more time in their personal relationships and build their support networks. The movement urges people to notice signs of distress in their friends, family, and co-workers and to have a chat if someone is struggling with their mental health.

Mental and Physical Health Connection

Some ways physical health positively impacts mental health is by;

  • Releasing endorphins: Physical exercise, like a brisk walk, or a Pilates class releases endorphins, or “feel-good” hormones, into the body. These endorphins make you feel happy and boost your mood.
  • Reducing stress: Regular exercise helps reduce the production of stress hormones (such as cortisol and adrenaline), as well as providing a healthy outlet for stress.
  • Improving sleep quality: Regular exercise also improves sleep patterns, which is imperative for your emotional well-being.
  • Improving self esteem: Engaging in exercise and working towards your goals helps to improve your self-confidence, leading to improved self-esteem and mental image.
  • Improving the mind-body connection: Taking part in exercise that involves breath work (i.e. pilates or yoga) promotes mindfulness and body awareness, improving your mood and fostering relaxation.  

Listening to Your Body
Listening to your body is an important part of having adequate mental and physical health. Just like when your body communicates when it’s hungry or tired, it also sends signals about your emotions, stress levels and fatigue. Taking frequent moments to tune in to your body and mind allows you to identify when you need to rest. Engaging in activities like Pilates can help you become more attuned to these cues, improving self-awareness and helping you manage both mental and physical stress. Pushing through these signals can contribute to burnout in the form of physical and/or mental illness, so learning not to push through these signals is important.

Recognising the Importance of Mental Health
It is important now more than ever to break down barriers and normalise conversations about mental health. Discussing your mental well-being and asking those around you if they are OK is a sign of strength. Just like seeking guidance for a physical ailment is natural, reaching out for mental health support is a positive step towards holistic well-being.

Self-Care at Home
Try to embrace small movements of mindfulness throughout your day, you can start today! Some things you can do to weave mindfulness and movement into your daily routine are:

  • Take 5 deep breaths during a break at work
  • Chose the stairs over the elevator
  • Go for a walk after dinner with a loved one, discuss how the day went
  • Journaling your thoughts before bed 
  • Yoga or meditation in the morning and/or evening 
  • Completing your home exercise program from your physio to continue to work towards your goals

Simple practices every day may not seem like it’s doing a lot, but overtime it will make a big difference to your mental and physical health.

What About Us?
Part of our approach at Movement Laboratory is our ongoing passion and commitment to foster supportive environments. We want our clients to feel comfortable and to know that our physiotherapy and pilates sessions occur in a safe space where well-being is our priority. It’s okay to not be okay, and we’re here to remind you of that. As discussed above, your journey towards improved health involves both your body and mind, and we’re dedicated to assist you to navigate the struggles and celebrate the triumphs, to build a stronger and healthier you.

Resources
The following are helpful resources, as well as breathing and meditation apps that can be used daily to improve your mental wellbeing. 

Lifeline 131114

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

Headspace – Meditation App

Calm 

Insight Timer – Meditation App

Daylio Journal 

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