Please join us as we #Move4MentalHealth
Steamboat Pilot & Today
It’s so easy to take walking a dog for granted. It becomes another check on our already loaded down to-do list. Something we have to do.
But, a simple shift in mindset can make a brief walk one of the highlights of our day.
By simply being outside and moving our body, we’re already taking the first step in improving our outlook for the day. Taking an extra few moments to enjoy the sunshine or even the refreshing feeling of the rain can help improve mental health.
As Steamboat Pilot & Today embarks on a six-week journey to reveal the mental health issues that exist in Routt County through our “Out of the Shadows” series, we will also be leading a communitywide, free event called #Move4MentalHealth.
We will be using social media to encourage community members to move for the benefit of their mental health. We will post on the Move 4 Mental Health Facebook page three times per week with tips and prompts, inspiring people to find time to move, be mindful and share their mental health stories.
Additionally, each Wednesday, a local trainer or studio will host an exercise class open to all abilities. No equipment or experience required.
Each Wednesday, a local fitness instructor will host a free, virtual class on the #Move4MentalHealth Facebook page. Donations to Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide, or REPS, are suggested for participation.
June 16: Rebecca Williams with Steamboat Fit
June 23: Sarah Coleman with Steamboat Fit
June 30: Shannon Crow with Out Here Yoga
July 7: Jamie Boeri with The Hayden Center
July 14: Sarah Horen with Old Town Hot Springs
July 21: Cheryl Anders with Yoga Center of Steamboat
When we say movement, we don’t mean you have to run a marathon or even a 5K, for that matter. We are simply asking community members to move — be it dancing, playing with your kids or walking the dog.
Any time spent moving our bodies makes us feel better. It’s become widely known that 30 minutes of exercise per day can lower stress and anxiety, and you don’t even have to do those 30 minutes all at once. You can break that up into smaller, less daunting increments to better fit your busy schedule. Just spending time outdoors lowers blood pressure and heart rate while improving mood.
Another part of this event is to break the stigma around mental health. Pilot & Today staff will take the lead and post weekly about how we move and why we do it. We hope community members join us by responding to our weekly prompts and sharing their own mental health stories.
To reward those who are comfortable sharing their stories and engaging with our series content, we’ll give away swag bags full of movement-related items donated from local businesses, including Howelsen Hill Ski Area day passes, in weekly random drawings. There are no mileage, caloric or time milestones to meet. No counting period. All you have to do is engage with fellow community members and use #Move4MentalHealth, #OutOfTheShadows and #SteamboatSnaps on your Facebook posts and Instagram photos, and you’ll be entered in the drawing.
The only way to break the stigma that so deeply surrounds mental health issues is to talk about how we struggle and how we fight against it each day.
It’s OK to say you’re having a bad day. We just hope you say it to someone. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed with your job, family and life circumstances. We just hope you find time to move your body to combat that frustration.
We hope #Move4MentalHealth will provide motivation and inspiration for people to take advantage of the beauty of Routt County and all it has to offer in recreation and community support.
Shelby Reardon is the Steamboat Pilot & Today sports editor. She can be reached at sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com. Mackenzie Hicks is a copy editor and page designer for the Pilot & Today. She can be reached at mhicks@SteamboatPilot.com.
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Emma Harmon, of Durango, is pictured with journals she has kept about her mental health challenges. She said Axis Health System would not help her when in crisis. “The way things seem to work there, you’d actually have to have killed yourself before they’d meet with you.” | Jerry McBride/Durango Herald