by Estelle Parker

Just a few of the words of wisdom I have received when dealing with a serious mental health problem – depression.

For me depression comes out of the blue, nothing seems to cause it, I don’t know when I am going to feel better, or worse. On a bad day I won’t be able to see anything good about life at all, everything feels like a massive effort and a struggle and I begin to doubt that I have the strength to get to the end of the day, let alone the end of the week.

1 in 5 people have a mental health issue, yet those 1 in 5 of us are often very reluctant to talk about our struggles and reach out for support. If we did, we might meet the other 1 in 5 and find an understanding ear.

We all know how to take care of our bodies by exercising and eating right, but what about taking card of your mind?

During my studies for my personal trainer qualification, I have learnt that there are 6 aspects to total fitness;

  • Nutritional
  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Medical
  • Social
  • Spiritual

To balance these 6 aspects in your life is hard, if you are not a certain religion, how are you supposed to look after your spiritual health!? The mind is so often neglected, particularly by those with conditions who should be giving this area a lot more attention.

So what can you do to benefit your mental health? And what could you do to help someone else you may know in need of your support?

I have found the following things help me during a low patch and maintain my good patches for longer;

  • Having an understanding ear, a shoulder to lean on, someone I can reach out to at a moments notice who will be there to pick up the phone.
  • Being mindful…yes I have depression, but I do not feel depressed every moment of every day, so I need to be grateful and enjoy those moments when I am not down.
  • Supplements – after being recommended a book on eating for health issues I have begun taking a range of supplements. To be totally honest I don’t know how much of an effect they have, I guess I would have to stop taking them to find out!! The supplements I take are; 5HTP, Chromium, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin B and Omega 3.
  • The one I find most effective….exercise! I LOVE being able to work out with you all at Field of Fitness. I find I can’t walk away from a session feeling anything other than buzzing. The atmosphere in the studio is great and under the guidance of the amazing P/T’s you know your workout is always going to be safe and effective and you are going to walk away with a sense of achievement. I love it.
  • Finally…giving myself a break…and actually planning me time! I cram so much into my life, then get frustrated when I get tired or worse, get close to burnout. In an attempt to slow down today I spent my lunch break browsing the shops in Guildford rather than studying and saw this sign…sometimes the best advice finds you!