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Mental Health Awareness Week 13-19 May

Keeping fit works for me!

Since Olivia’s birth 18 years ago and learning to adapt my life to that of a parent to a disabled young adult, I have had to deal with my own mental health issues.

Every day of my life takes a different turn. It could be dealing with the everyday matters for Olivia or work related issues. However the internal worries and anxieties that I have for her life and what the future holds for my husband and I are always with me, like demons in my soul.

I have always been very conscious about my own mental health and I know the darkness can at times over shadow the light. This can be for short spells of time and I have to find an escape to overcome my demons.

I think we all need to find some form of respite from whatever causes our worries and anxieties in life and for some people you may find this strange, but for me, I have found solace in going to the gym and having a good workout.

Listening to my favourite music while working out, allows me to escape to another place and the focus of my thoughts are everywhere else but home or work. I only manage to get to the gym about four times a week, but that hour is mine, no one else’s and whether I work hard or take it easy is up to me.

Gardening is another activity I love. The fresh air, birds singing and hearing the congregation in the church at the bottom of the road singing on a Sunday morning all adds to my inner peace.

I truly believe physical activity is paramount for your inner and outer wellbeing and I know it is easy for me to say these things work for me, I realise some people will not be as lucky and their demons may not be so forgiving.

I know these activities enhance my life, my happiness and my quality of life. Not only are they great for my mental state of mind but my physical well being also.

Keeping fit allows me to view life through different eyes and I am sure that if I didn’t make the time to do these activities, my life could be very different.