Sometimes it’s easy to dismiss our mental health and not include it as part of our physical health, but anyone who has struggled with mental health issues will tell you that the two work together.
At Fit 4 Life we have included mental health as part of our four focus points – Fitness, Finance, Faith and Friendship. A number of our staff have been dealing with or have dealt with ongoing mental health challenges from burnout and anxiety to depression and more. As you struggle with what’s going on in your brain, it makes life harder including your personal fitness regime. Staying motivated is so difficult when it’s just a challenge to get out of bed and thus the vicious circle is born. Physical fitness and the endorphins that come with exercise are a vital part of recovering and moving through mental health issues.
Here’s a few tips that I have discovered about myself as I deal with anxiety.
- Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor – it can be a huge relief to have someone journey with you who has some expertise in health issues.
- Don’t be a martyr about medication – anti-anxiety and depression meds are there for a reason. They help our brains reboot and gives us the space to start being the person we want to be and make the necessary changes. My doctor told me that I might need medication for as long as it took me to get to the place I was in. I feel better on my meds so I am in no rush! 🙂
- Do share your story – keeping your mental health stuff a secret only magnifies it. Find some people that are your friends and don’t care if you repeat your health story a million times. They can be a listening, empathetic ear as well as give us perspective when we need it sometimes.
- Do realise that your mental health challenge is going to change you – you might find your ability to cope is diminished or your ability to balance a hectic lifestyle may be changed. It’s ok…..becoming comfortable with just being is part of the journey.
- Do find things that bring JOY in your life – hobbies, people, TV shows, movies etc. Whatever gives you even a smidgen of fun, joy and distraction can be a good thing for your mental health.
- Do some exercise – try and do something physical every day – work out at the gym, go for a stroll, garden, dancing or whatever….find something you enjoy!
- Do realise that others are not going to fully understand what it is like for you and we need to have appropriate expectations of others.
- Don’t be ashamed to find others who are experiencing similar things to you. There is a real sense of camaraderie that comes when you share your story with someone who is also struggling.
Hope you found some of these helpful. They are just things I have done to help me in my journey with anxiety.
Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff