Minding Your Mental HealthApril 20, 2020
by Mark Davis, Perpetua Crossfit Coach
To say we are all dealing with a lot right now would be a bit of an understatement. In recent months, I have gone through some of the worst times in my life. So I want to share some of the ways that I have addressed and dealt with difficult situations. My hope is that reading this might help you better deal with the uncertainty and anxiety you might be feeling.
Connecting and actually talking to people is so important. Many of us bottle things up and never express how we really feel. This has a huge effect on our level of stress over time.
Opening up to people has benefitted me in more ways than I can possibly describe. I’m not one who usually talks. I found it very difficult at the start, but once you start you’ll realise the release and benefit you gain from just talking.
There are many different ways you can connect with people.
Exercise is a huge part of my life. The support network you can gain from a community based around exercise is amazing. Even though we can’t connect in person right now, our community is still connecting through online workouts and chats.
Through this weird time we are living in, it can be hard to stay connected to people. It takes effort. But there are loads of different methods – Zoom, WhatsApp, social media – that we have access to.
Recovering swiftly from difficult situations or experiences in your life. The ability to bounce back from hardships and bad experiences is a way to enable us to move forward. Not allowing yourself to be paralyzed by life’s challenges will also build mental toughness and a strong character.
Trying out something new. Rediscovering an old interest. Keeping the mind fresh and engaged is a way that I have been able to look after my mental health. Setting myself new goals and challenges in all different aspects of life is key to wellbeing
Learning how to breathe. Learning to switch off and give yourself a break. We’re all doing the best we can.
I have found reading other people’s stories about how they have dealt with sadness and depression very beneficial. Here are two resources that I’ve found compelling:
“I remember sitting in my room for four or five days not wanting to be alive, not talking to anybody. That was a struggle for me … I reached that point where I finally realized I couldn’t do it alone”
Retired competitive swimmer Michael Phelps is the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time, boasting a total of 28 medals, but that didn’t make him immune to depression. “After every Olympics I think I fell into a major state of depression,”. He has admitted to using drugs to self-medicate and contemplating suicide.
“Mental health has got to be the biggest battle I’ve ever ever fought with, more than any opponent.”
Tyson Fury is the undefeated lineal heavyweight champion of the world. Born and raised in Manchester, Fury weighed just 1lb at birth after being born three months premature. In his book he talks about many challenges he faced from becoming heavyweight champion to being addicted to drugs and alcohol. He describes how he found himself from fighting back from this illness.
Remember to be kind to people as you never know what’s really going on behind closed doors.