Mental Health Struggles? Here are 5 Science-driven Lifestyle Strategies to Help
Do you battle with your mental health on a daily basis?..
So do I,
So does your neighbour,
So does the rich guy across the road,
So does your spouse,
So does your lawyer,
So does the Prime Minister (especially during Partygate),
The point here is that mental health affects everyone even the people that from the outside seem un-touchable!
Luckily though, mental health is no longer a taboo subject in our society and it’s firmly in the public eye and here to stay.
The COVID-19 pandemic and all the lockdowns has without doubt exacerbated the UK’s mental health situation, but this has also positively put a microscope over the subject, creating more awareness and a greater level of help for people suffering from mental health issues.
Now although this microscopic view is a good thing, it has also highlighted where the health and fitness industry in general need to get much better at educating people around the proven scientific strategies that directly help to deal with mental health struggles.
The flood gates have now opened up for many people that have struggled internally for many years, which means the strategies that help deal and manage with mental health and resilience, need to be more in-tune, more effective, more inclusive and more inspiring than ever.
In England 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem every year, according to mind.org.uk and 1 in 6 will report experiencing some form of mental health issue, most commonly anxiety and/or depression in any given week.
These stats from mind.org.uk reflect the situation on the ground that we are professionally seeing everyday in the gym during our 1-1 coaching sessions, with individuals from all demographics.
One day we will be coaching a young 23 year old with their career and life in front of them, and the next day we will be coaching a 65 year old looking forward to retirement and a slower pace of life.
These two people are on different ends of the spectrum for career and life, but there is a commonality amongst them, which I’ll explain.
Even though we coach people from all walks of life, the commonality amongst many of them - is mental health!
It doesn’t matter your background, your family history or where you are from, everyone has their own personal struggles and challenges in life, and it all starts in the same place - between the ears.
Hearing this should give us a boost of positivity, because it says to us that we are all in the same boat together, but we are just paddling at different rates.
The end destination for many is similar i.e. happy, fulfilling, loving life, it’s the rate at which we paddle and overcome the underlying currents that try to throw us off course that is different.
To illustrate, we were only coaching a guy this week, when he started opening up to us and talking about his struggles with mental health and maintaining a positive mindset.
He confessed how he can often end up feeling anxious and worried even over the smallest things in life, which makes him feel like a failure at times.
Now this client is in no way depressed, but he does like many other people around the country have many moments during his week where he feels like life is getting on top, and causing anxious feelings as a result.
We can all relate to this in some way and on some level, right?..
So what are some proven lifestyle strategies to help manage mental health?
1. Protecting your sleep
2. Getting a healthy, nutrient focused diet
3. Get regular exercise
4. Get involved with your community
5. Find a hobby
Here is a link to a fabulous article from the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) that goes deep into these 5 lifestyle choices, and the positive effect they can have on mental health and resilience.
These strategies are all natural and lifestyle orientated, which should be your first go to’s.
For the majority of people implementing some or all of these strategies above on a regular basis, will go a long way to help strengthening their mental health and increase resilience to deal with stressful situations.
There will of course be a handful of people that need medical intervention to help further, but these lifestyle strategies should still remain your rocks and act as the foundation to any further medical wellbeing prescription.
As experienced health professionals that have worked for over a decade in the fitness and personal training industry, we are fortunate that we have been able to help and are still helping many people with the first 3 lifestyle strategies of improving sleep, helping nutrition and providing regular effective exercise for people.
Lasting thoughts - A healthy mind starts with a healthy body and it works the other way around too! Mind and body cannot be separated, they effect each other and are symbiotic.
Stay healthy, stay positive,
P.S If you want some help with any of the top 3 lifestyle strategies presented here, please get in touch anyway you feel is right. Your mental health is integral to your current and future self so speak to one of our coaches today for a friendly ear.