Last week we seen the amount of interest and attention mental health now has in Ireland. The event “Darkness into light” was held in venues dotted all around Ireland and was really encouraging to see figures of 120,000 + people getting active taking part and raising awareness. Along with that the month of May is the month of the green ribbon-a campaign set out to encourage everyone in Ireland to wear a ribbon and start a national conversation about mental health. We really all are touched to someone close who has been affected by this at some point in their lives or possibly you’re reading this article and are currently fighting your own battle.
First of all you might be asking why this is in a fitness column.
I would regard physical fitness very important for sure but how you train and look after your mind,wellness and body is just as important and really is all linked together.
Fitness to me isn’t always about lifting weights,running,or even going under the bar to hit a heavy squat. Spending time on your wellness and mindset is something I would always encourage everybody to incorporate into their fitness routine quite often. A term I use a lot with be “You got to slow down to speed up” sometimes.
As a personal trainer I have gotten to see the huge benefit exercise can bring to people looking after their mental health,improve their mindset to better their wellness.
There are plenty of different reasons why many struggle with their mental health .I am not here to tell you the cause or why, as I don’t know but what I do know there are a certain few ways that may just help you that have helped out clients I work with.
First of all let me start by saying there is such great help out there today for anyone fighting their battle with mental health.
Pieta house and Aware and the Green Ribbon are some fantastic organisations who do so much providing help and assistance to people and families affected. Its also really nice to see people like Bressie or most recently the viral video we all seen from Dublin man Doug Leddin below come out and talk about his battle and how they deal with it.
Couple of tips here on how to improve your wellness,body and mindset.
1.Get active and outdoors
Ireland has so many outdoor trails,parks,hills,rivers and in general lots of places to go out,get fresh air and unwind.Last week I gave the readers some outdoor venues and workouts for you to try with little to no equipment
Head out with friends for social gatherings like golf outings, out for a ride on your bike,meet ups for coffee or even heading out for walks are simple things that will really help recharge the batteries and in general keep you happy.Yoga and meditation is also anther great outlet to bring into your daily exercise routine.I would encourage at least 1 yoga session a week.Slow down,breathe,stretch,and mediate
Mediation app I have used in the past is called Headspace. All you need is 10 minutes a day for 10 days.The free 10 day trial is linked below.
2.Keep moving forward 1% better every day.
List down 3 things every night that YOU are going to work on the next day. This should be a SMALL step but this daily consistent small step of action will lead you to the BIG goal. It could be a goal working towards your fitness, health, anything.
Working on visualisation and having a goal/vision board is another way of keeping focused and on track which I’ve also used in the past myself and with friends and clients.This could be a vision to run a marathon this year,loose some weight,being able to spend time giving lots of energy to play with your kids or even sticking up a picture on your wall in your glory sporting days you were really active and healthy and want to return to some day
I have also found that working on gratitude and appreciation is another protocol I would also encourage.Start your day with listing 3 things you are grateful to have in your life.Being grateful for your health,your fitness,your previous sporting accomplishments,the people around you motivating and encouraging to the food on your plate is something I believe is also great for your body and mind
I have used this Five minute journal below in the past and really has me focus more and keep me on track.(It comes in app form too).Keeping a journal like this is great as it will hold you accountable to your goal,keep you inspired and motivated along with providing you with a sound checklist on what went right and wrong for you on the day so you can keep getting better.
Take up a new hobby,challenge or sport,get creative.Learn how to slow down some days and switch off.15 minutes can really go a long way to your day.”You got to slow down to speed up” is a quote I use quite regulalrly with people I train on a daily basis.Start coloring,doing art,drawing,playing music, or even get creative in the kitchen cooking are things that really go a long way. Doing things that help the brain slow down, distress and unwind are ways I know that have helped people out in the past with their mind and body
Thanks for reading and hope this can help you or a friend out.