Managing Your Mental Health, Part 3 – Exercise

I think a lot of people are scared or put off by the idea of exercise from an early age, while some kids love and enjoy sport there are a lot who don’t, but they are still dragged outside on cold, wet days to run around a muddy field. 

This can have a huge impact on kids, they can feel embarrassed, and it can reduce their levels of self-esteem; it also means that they carry that negative image of exercise into adult life, which is when we need physical activity the most.

Even as we get older the images of exercise and fitness are of slim, muscular, good-looking people who dwell in gymnasiums that many people are too intimidated to enter.  To some it’s the world of perfect looking people.

I haven’t been to a gym for a very long time, so things might have changed, however the images haven’t; look at all the sports and outdoor company’s adverts, do they really reflect broader society?  All I see is people doing extreme sports, hanging off cliffs or running up mountains, and yes, they’re all slim and toned.

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Managing Your Mental Health, Part 2 – Acceptance


The fact of accepting a difficult or unpleasant situation. – Cambridge Dictionary

Willingness to tolerate a difficult situation. – Oxford Dictionary

Acceptance is one area I struggle with the most; I sometimes want to slap people when they make it sound so easy.  Human nature is to fight or run away from situations that our brain feels are dangerous, remaining calm in the face of danger goes against that instinct and takes a lot of self-control.

Since I had my breakdown, I’ve struggled to accept what happened to me; I often feel that I’m to blame for what happened, and I spend a lot of time beating myself up.  As well as self-blame, I feel a lot of anger for what happened, towards those who I feel let me down, and at myself for letting it happen.  I used to be quite a laid-back person, but that has gone, and I now struggle to keep my emotions in check. 

My situation is quite extreme; however, I think the current cost of living crisis may be leaving people having to deal with similar emotions of anger and self-blame, and when those emotions hit high levels, it can be very difficult to accept them and the situation that is causing them.

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Managing Your Mental Health, Part 1 – Introduction

Saying that things are stressful right now seems a bit of an understatement; we emerge from covid only to plunge into a cost-of-living crisis, it all seems a bit relentless and that light at the end of the tunnel may be disappearing fast for some people.

It’s not just stress that we are dealing with, it’s also fear; some of us are terrified and don’t know how we’re going to survive. 

Personally, I’m finding it hard to deal with, I feel completely useless because of my inability to work, and while I’m fighting hard to get some money in where I can, I constantly feel like a burden to Kim.  Over the past few months my anxiety has gone through the roof and at times, my mood has hit rock bottom more than usual, which means it’s been a real struggle to do even simple tasks.

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The Narrow-Minded Approach to Managing Mental Health.

There was a recent MYRIAD (My Resilience in Adolescence) study that looked to see if a School-based Mindfulness (SBMT) curriculum was worth rolling out to schools across the UK; the findings were that it didn’t make any really difference and that most of the children found it boring.

This study has raised a couple of concerns for me, and it’s not about the study itself, it’s mainly about how it was reported and that the people who create these curriculums seem to have no clue about mental health and how best to manage it.

What drew my attention to this study was an article on the BBC website with the headline ‘School mindfulness lessons don’t work for teenagers, study says’ the article goes on to say, ‘Giving teenagers mindfulness lessons at school to boost wellbeing is largely a waste of time, a major UK study has found’.

I’ve read some of the findings (well, what I could understand anyway) and my problem is that the BBC article was rather misleading.  The MYRIAD study was not looking at mindfulness as a whole, it’s aim was to see if this SBMT curriculum works; from what I’ve read they are saying that it’s this particular curriculum that doesn’t work.

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Do you Act at Being Tough?

I was checking Facebook this morning and came across a video of an interview with Al Pacino, I think it was from 1983, and he was asked ‘Are you tough?’

His response was that he didn’t know.

‘Getting through life you’ve gotta be tough I guess; we’re all tough.’ He said ‘How do you mean tough’ he asked the interviewer.

‘Coping’ was the response.

‘I think what comes from toughness is because you’re trying to cover something usually sensitivity, certain vulnerability, that’s toughness.’

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