Being more active by running, walking, and playing sports can be great fun. They are also a great way of boosting your mental health and helping you to meet new people and even make friends.

Sometimes, when feeling down, we just want to sit and avoid people. This is just one of many symptoms associated with poor mental health. But being physically active – in whichever way we choose – has many positive effects on our minds.

In fact, taking part in activities of any description can have wonderful short and long-term health and well-being advantages.

Exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. It can also help to prevent physical illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, bowel cancer and breast cancer.

This year, the Mental Health Foundation has set the theme of ‘Movement: moving for our mental health’ for Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs between 13 to 19 May.

To tie in with the theme, we’ve put together some activities happening in East Sussex to inspire you to be more active.

Get active, take a walk

Whether you enjoy the stunning coastal scenery, the magic of the Ashdown Forest, or the beauty of the South Downs Way, East Sussex has a walk to suit everyone.

There are even guided walks and groups you can join if you’d like to meet people during your walk.

So, with May being National Walking Month, what better time to take a stroll. To help inspire you, we’ve put together some of our favourite routes and guided walks from around East Sussex.

Find a walk near you in East Sussex.

The Head on Board Skate Jam

If your chosen activity is a little more extreme than walking, the Head on Board Mental Health Project skate jam could be for you. The event is being held to highlight the importance of movement and being active in maintaining good mental health.

All profits will go to the Ben Raemers Foundation. It aims to reduce the stigma and taboo of mental health and suicide prevention within the skateboarding community. The Foundation offers training, awareness raising, and talks.

Entry to the event is £8. It will run all day from 9am on Saturday 18 May, at Source Park, Hastings. There will be product and cash prizes.

Men’s beach walk

A networking walk is being held in Eastbourne by Parents In Mind, in partnership with Eden’s Mission and Mankind.

The Men’s Beach Walk will start at The Kiosk (Helen Garden) and go to Sovereign Park before returning to The Kiosk. The scenic stroll is open to people and local organisations.

The 7.6-mile walk is tailored to support men and show what Parents In Mind does in East Sussex. The organisation is run by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT).

The focus on men’s mental health highlights the importance of raising awareness and bolstering support networks.

The walk starts at 9.30 am on 9 June. To register, or for more information, please email

Get active with walking sports

Playing sports is a great way of getting active and meeting people. Being part of a team can even help you stay motivated to continue being active.

From newbie to seasoned veteran, there are clubs and groups throughout the county you can join to take part in your favourite pastime.

However, if you want to play sports but aren’t as nimble as you used to be, or you’re recovering from an injury or illness have you might like to try walking sports?

Played at a slower pace, Walking Cricket can be a great way to get active while meeting new people and having fun. Find a Walking Cricket Club near you.

Or maybe you prefer football. With the league season coming to an end, why not kick-off your activity journey by finding a Walking Football club near you.

Getting help

There are many places to find information and support for your mental health. The NHS has advice on how to get help, and identify symptoms.

And One You East Sussex offers mental health and wellbeing support. Specifically it offers Health & wellbeing coaching and support around physical activity such as its Men v Fat programme.

Prepare for life transitions before they happen

The Life Transitions service can also help by preparing you for big life changes before they happen.

Download the free Life Transitions app to access guidance, gain new tools, and learn healthy coping strategies to help you manage with difficult transitions.

You can also contact the team via email at or by calling them at 07724287034.