Hi, I suppose as this is not my blog that I should introduce myself. So my name is
Claire, I’m from Manchester, UK and I have had mental health problems in
different levels /states for around 9 years.
I met Jess when she commented on one of my blog posts and suggested that we
team up. I have to say I was very excited as my blog is something that I love to do
and the ability to join with another amazing blogger who is flying the flag to
improve the lives (in whatever way we can) of those going through similar
problems to us is something that I have been wanting to do for a while.
So we have agreed to contribute to each other’s blogs and share this amazing
group Run.Talk. Run which I hoping to support in whatever way I can. It’s also
interesting to write from a different point of view; I write more along my daily
struggles of whatever I am dealing with during that week/month., so writing
about the importance of physical health is a view that I haven’t written my two
pence about yet.
I grew up in hilly Derbyshire and have had dogs since I was 11 so I am definitely
a bit more of a trekker then a jogger but that isn’t to say that I’m not averse to the
odd jog in fact if I had to choose between going to a gym or running outside I
would choose running outside about 90 per cent of time.
I use to jog a lot especially when I was younger. I was going to join the RAF as a
nurse and part of joiningf the RAF is getting fit enough to pass their fitness test
which involves just a little bit of running. So at 6am most mornings, me and my
dog would get our running shoes on and run up and down the hills. I didn’t get
into the RAF but there’s a certain energy that you get when you do exercise
outside that I haven’t got from being in Gym before.
I do love the Gym but its hot, can feel confining (especially when you have
anxiety) and they’re not necessarily the most attractive places to look at.
I love the catch of your breath when you get the first bit of morning air, the green
of the trees and the path that stretches before you, beckoning you to discover
where it leads. Every jog is different and that extra bit of fresh air (that you
wouldn’t get in an enclosed gym) can’t be bad for you.
Now for the mental health side of it. When you have a mental health problem
whether it is depression, anxiety or any of the many conditions that can affect
you, it rarely just affects your mind. Yes it is primarily based within the mind but
it’s not just mental health that you have to consider, it’s also your physical health.
For instance, sleeping is affected. I have had periods of both insomnia and
excessive sleep and both are really not healthy for your body. Your mental health
state will lure you to thinking ‘You know what will make you feel better? Just
lying here, not doing anything, because as soon as you doing anything you’re
going to put stress on yourself, make a fool of yourself etc….’
When you think about it, it makes sense, the outside world stresses you out so
why the heck would you even consider doing any physical exercise (which your
GP will usually ask you to do at most appointments)? Well, the reason the doctor
suggests you do physical exercise is because it will actually help your mental
health (I know pretty radical idea right?!). We’re not meant to be sedentary as
humans ,we are meant to get out there and use our bodies for what they were
built for in the first place. There’s a reason you see those crazy people jogging in
the rain at 6am because it actually makes them feel good. When you exercise
your body releases endorphins (good chemicals) and with mental health
problems introducing some not so good chemicals into your brain doesn’t it
make sense to battle the negative ones with some healthy, good ones?
Anyway, that is my two pence about why exercise is a good thing when you have
mental health problems. Now before I wander off (I’m sorry by the way if this
was such a ramble, I do like a good chat!) I would like to just say why I think Run.
Talk. Run is such an amazing idea. You know what it’s like; anxiety/depression
makes you feel isolated even from those closest to you. The idea of even going to
a Gym or Jog is daunting in itself (as Jess has said in her earlier blogs) but what
about if you had someone who was there for you? People who know exactly how
difficult and lonely it is to have mental health problems? When I get really severe
episodes of anxiety/ depression it’s incredibly hard to socialize but you know
who the people are who would get it if even if you turn up to social gathering and
aren’t that chatty?
People who are going through exactly the same as you.
I am not much a runner but I tell you what I am someone who really, really,
really wants to be able to live as a normal life as I can with mental health
problems and not be ashamed of it. To accept that it’s part of who I am and to
adapt. I want to beat it ,of course I do, but after 9 years it’s more living with it
that’s the goal. And the running? Well, I wouldn’t mind a dose of healthy happy
chemicals to help me to deal with it!
Thank you so much for reading this and if you have any questions about the
running group or any issues raise in this blog than feel free to message us and we
will be happy to help.
Lots of love,