I’m not an expert in mental health but I, like most of us have had my fair share of ups and downs and had to find ways to get through challenging times. Two years ago today my mother passed away. But today is not for suffering, of course there is pain but I choose in her honour not to suffer through that pain. Today I choose to remember her for the formidable woman that she was. She would like it that way.
June 10th 2015 was one of the lowest points of my life with mum passing along with another situation which happened simultaneously. They say you can’t fall off the floor but I think you can… when that floor feels as if it’s being ripped away from underneath you.
I tumbled into a deep sadness which could well have turned into depression but three days after it all happened, I got out of bed pulled on my gym kit and somehow managed to get to the gym. I could only manage 20 minutes, but that 20 minutes lifted my spirits and gave me hope that the dark feeling would in time pass. And it felt like I could get through the incessant crashing waves of the ‘abyss’ stage of grief and loss.
Each day I went to the gym, and trained for as long as my feelings would allow. I had a good gym routine before it all happened and so was already going a few times a week, but carrying on when I really didn’t feel like it and pushing through was a real saving grace for me.
I continue to go to the gym regularly today. I like the physical changes that I see and feel but above all of that it’s the mental affect which has had the biggest impact on me. I gym four or five times a week most weeks, even getting up at 4.30am if I have an early work start. I feel that gym/dance/movement is such an integral part of good mental health. And it can help you get through the most challenging of times also. Once you get the habit it’s such a gift, but it took me years and years to get the habit.
I used to fanny around on cardio machines with no purpose and no results and it was only when I started to lift weights that I began to really see the huge and multi-faceted benefits of lifting heavy. I would love to inspire even if only one person to venture into the gym and start lifting weights. It’s a total life changer. I Had a great session today… and I can’t wait to do another one tomorrow. I really hope that some of you will try it and eventually fall in love with it as much as I have. Have you tried it yet? What exercise do you do? And mum if you’re listening I miss you!
Please excuse typos. Written on my iPhone