"If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should explode and perish.” – Charles Dickens
It goes without saying that the last year has seen people across the globe navigating uncharted waters; taking on new tasks and responsibilities as well as shifting ways of working and living that they would not have anticipated. The situation has meant a lot of self-discovery for all, and with self-discovery comes a multitude of challenges and questions.
When reviewing the impact of COVID-19, the Mental Health Foundation recorded that, in the last half of December 2020, 54% of the adult UK population felt anxious or worried, while 23% felt lonely.
Additionally, mental health challenges in young people are becoming more prevalent and are exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions. YoungMinds have recorded that a quarter of 17-year-old girls have self-harmed in the last year, while suicide remains the single biggest killer of boys and young men.
Given ongoing limitations around social interaction, an escape for many of the CJ team has been to walk. Be that through mimicking a commute, focusing on fitness, getting some fresh air, catching up on the latest podcast, even simply eye-smiling at a fellow stranger who ‘gets it’. Above all, walking is beneficial for our wellbeing so much so that the Mental Health Foundation noted that as little as a brisk 10-minute walk improves alertness, energy, and mood.
But despite everyone on the team looking forward to a less-restricted summer, current restrictions will see us spending most of March with limited social connection. As such, the CJ team in London are embarking on a challenge, designed to aid our general health and wellbeing, while supporting a truly great cause with our March Through March initiative.
Each CJer will be aiming to cover 31 miles (50 km) throughout March in support of the charity YoungMinds. While we have some avid runners who’ll likely lead the pack, many of our lockdown ‘couch potatoes’ have also committed to take on the challenge, boosting awareness for a cause which is more important than ever – and for some of us, very close to our hearts.
About YoungMinds: We are leading the movement to make sure every young person gets the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what.
It takes courage to ask for help. But for many young people who do, the support they need just isn’t there.
In the UK today, an estimated five children in every classroom has a mental health problem. A quarter of 17-year-old girls have self-harmed in the last year, while suicide remains the single biggest killer of boys and young men. But things can get better.
We provide young people with tools to look after their mental health. We empower adults to be the best support they can be to the young people in their lives. And we give young people the space and confidence to get their voices heard and change the world we live in.
Together, we can create a world where no young person feels alone with their mental health. Join our movement.