The sun is out and I have been reflecting on how much is going on....

With the upcoming 'Jump for Joy' event on Sunday, then the Easter celebrations and then the London Marathon, April is already shaping up to be a busy old month. We are also working with The Princes Trust this weekend and have been thoroughly pleased to have attended the Big Hat Factory Choir event last week. All of this helps us raise awareness of the work we do at Mind BLMK and help get the conversations started around mental health and wellbeing. 

We have also said goodbye to our Chief Executive, Alison Fisher and welcomed our new boss, Caroline Holman. Caroline has been with Mind BLMK for a number of years, previously as the Chief Operating Officer and Deputy to the Chief Exec, so she brings with her considerable experience, knowledge and skills and will, I'm sure, continue the work that Alison has been doing, helping Mind BLMK navigate through the choppy waters than both charities and mental health services are currently in. 

Caroline has started by securing new services across Bedfordshire, working in partnership with East London Foundation Trust to deliver new Peer Support services across the two counties. This is brilliant news and ensures that Mind BLMK will continue to be an essential part of the support offered to people when they need it. 

Alongside the new services, we continue to develop and deliver a range of options, including those which promote better physical health alongside mental wellbeing. Today is World Physical Activity Day and, sitting here at my desk, I've been thinking about how important this is. Some experts suggest that regular physical activity can be more effective at treating the symptoms of depression than tablets and it is clear that regular activity helps people have a longer and healthier life. But how can we get this embedded within our lives? 

We are busier than ever. We have cars to get us from A to B, rather than walking. Our work is far less likely to be active than in previous generations. The internet, hundreds of tv channels and for some, a belief that exercise is only about going to a gym are all reasons that people give to explain why they don't get involved. And yet, it is really easy to find activities that can be fun, fit in around your life and have the benefits talked about. 

Dancing. Gardening. Walking. Park Runs (awesomely good). Cycling. Vigorous housework (get some tunes on and vacuum with vigour!). Walking up the stairs rather than taking the lift. Getting up from your desk and doing something active for 10 minutes (also better for productivity). Badminton. Swimming. Anything that gets your heart rate up, your blood pumping and maybe a bit of a glow.... The rule of thumb is that you should exercise enough to still be able to talk, but not be able to sing (which, for those of you who have heard me singing, can only be a good thing). 

So, with the sun out and the wonderful spaces that we have around Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes, why not give it a go? You don't need to be running marathons or setting new records, simply getting up and about and doing something that will help ensure that you are happier, healthier and better placed to enjoy things. 

Enjoy the sunshine. I hope to see some of you at the weekend and if not, you might see me plodding round the streets of London on the 23rd, where I am raising money to help Mind BLMK continue to do the work they do.