The past week was Mental Health Awareness Week. It is a time to remember it is okay not to be okay and there is so much support out there for you.
Mind, which is one of the leading mental health charities in England and Wales say that 1 in 4 people will experience mental health issues each year. I’m hoping this alone will help people realise they are not alone. Whatever you’re feeling, someone else will understand. Mental health should be taken as seriously as physical health and having awareness weeks are definitely a step in the right direction.
One action which can be taken to help reduce mental illnesses is physical activity. A healthy active body helps lead to a healthy active mind. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals, and amongst those is endorphins. Endorphins interact with your brain to reduce the perception of pain and triggers positive feelings in the body. People with mental health issues are likely to be overweight or obese and drink or smoke too much, according to Mind. Being physically active can help those points as firstly the trick to losing weight is having a higher expenditure than intake – aka burning more calories than you consume. Once you find an activity you enjoy you might find that you want to reduce the amount you drink and smoke to help improve how you feeling while exercising!
On the point of finding an activity you enjoy – THERE ARE SO MANY OPTIONS!!! There is walking, running, swimming, cycling, zumba, netball, football, tennis, rugby, dance, basketball, the list goes on – oh, and not to mention all the variations of sports such as walking football or high 5 netball! My point is, you might currently think you don’t enjoy exercise but I truly believe that it’s because you haven’t found what is right for you! Everyone has a talent, which could be lifting weights in the gym, or smashing a forehand down the line in tennis!
There is so much support out there for everyone and anyone and don’t be afraid to get help or speak out. Try get into a routine with regular exercise. Start off small, maybe make a pact with yourself that you will walk to the shops once a week, or get off the bus two stops early twice a week and build up from there. The key to consistent exercise is small, manageable steps. This way, you won’t freak out after a couple weeks of intense exercise and burn out and quit.
You are important, you are unique and you can do anything you want to do, never forget that!