For many of us, living a healthy lifestyle is incredibly important.
We eat right, we exercise, we love our bodies.
Sometimes, we forget about something.
Your physical wellbeing means so much, but it is nothing without the wellbeing of your mind.
In the past week, it is estimated 1 in 6 people will experience a common mental health problem. A statistic we should be unable to ignore, and yet, we seem so very good at doing just that.
We enlisted the help of our incredible athletes, to talk about what helps them, and what could help you.
Mental health is important to me because it affects who you are and how you feel. It is the determinant of how your life is created and pursued. To capitalize on your success in other aspects of life, it is important to prioritize your mental health.
I have not always been the most mentally healthy person. I would pick at my flaws and victimize myself, which made me a very insecure person. I made a decision two years ago that completely changed my life, and my mental health.
I changed the way I thought about myself. I started affirming, meditating, and journaling every single day. I repeated affirmations constantly throughout the day, as if I was trying to tell my life story how I wanted to live it, even if I didn’t believe It at first.
To this day, I have manifested an abundance of happiness and love into my life just by simply changing how I thought. We are all capable of changing how we think and feel.
Read up on Ashley's affirmation ethos and learn how positive thoughts can change your life here.
Mental health is a topic that is extremely important, yet talked about so little.
Sometimes, we ignore the way we feel in certain situations. However, bottling up our emotions can only make them worse.
Be true to yourself, be sad if you need to, be happy if you want to.
Find a place, or a hobby, in which you can express yourself.
Personally, the gym is where I express myself the most. It puts me into such a positive state of mind every time I go.
The feeling of putting time towards bettering yourself is irreplaceable.
Give yourself the time of day that you need. Both mentally, and physically. Whether that is in the gym, or putting the right foods in your body.
Check out Isabela's guide for finding your fitness motivation here.
It is equally as important to take care of your mental health, as it is to take care your physical health.
You could be the most physically healthy person in the world, but without taking care of your mental health, your quality of life will suffer. There are SO many resources for physical health, but for mental health, there still seems to be some stigma attached - we need to change that.
If you want to hear more from Lauren, you can read her take on calories and macros here.
There is no right way “to do” fitness. Every single person will have their own definition; whether that is running, lifting weights, playing a sport, or practicing yoga. The most important thing to remember is to keep your happiness and health in mind, not only your physical, but your mental health. Mental health is often not taken as seriously as our physical health, because it is something we cannot see with our own eyes. The truth is, mental health has just as big an impact on our bodies, and our every day lives, as our physical health, if not more. Just as there is no right way “to do” fitness, there is not a specific way to take care of our mental health. It’s different for everyone. It’s important to stay in tune with our minds; awareness of our state of mental health can help us deal with day to day life, and focus/improve in physical activities. Personally, my outlet that helps me deal with stress, and my general mental health is found at the gym.
It is hard to stay in shape and build a strong physique, but it is equally as hard to keep your mental state healthy. If you need it, get help.
Remember, you were given this life because you are strong enough to live it.
The path to success doesn’t have to be a lonely one. Find your team, talk to each other, empower one another and give back where you can.
Mental Health is often a sensitive subject with people commonly afraid to openly talk about their mental health issues for fear of being judged or scrutinised. Mental Health Day was created to provide people with the exact forum to combat this fear: today of all days is when we can talk openly and honestly to draw attention to the fact that we are all human, we all have issues and that talking about them can really help in moving everyone forward in a happy and healthy manner.
Having been an exercise professional for well over a decade, I have seen first hand the impact that exercise can have on mental health: regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADHD and more... on a bio-chemical level it can help reduce stress hormones, allow you to sleep better and elevate mood... you don't need to read through the research on this to believe me, just think back to the last time you felt mentally better for having a good sweat session!
Now, I am not suggesting that exercise is a total cure for all mental health issues and disorders, just that it can, and does, have a significant impact on making you feel better. Regular exercise, following a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and not being afraid to talk to those around you to share your thoughts and feelings is an incredibly positive first few steps.
We are all human beings, we all have ups and downs, and it is definitely OK not to be OK all of the time. Give yourself a break sometimes, and don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
So, there you have it.
Shout about it, write about, talk about, do whatever you need to do about it.
Whatever you do, do not suffer in silence.