Today is world mental health day
And in 2020, it means more this year than possibly any other.
A good number of people have been in touch with me, regular WG-Fit members, who in this time of lockdown have felt their own mental health struggle.
Health, regardless of whether we are talking about physical health or mental health is always in a state of flux.
Sliding along a scale from good health to bad health.
It's easy to see and understand physical health.
If someone is ill, it's usually fairly obvious.
This isn't the case for mental health.
While I'm not a mental health professional, I've been working with one lad who asked me to share the following message:
Good morning all, I’m still very much learning on the very principles of this News letter so I don’t have anything in that I can ask for more or related to it that I can ask, yet. What I can say about the three topics Dave has kindly put out there as I’m working individually with him is, 1. Stress can equal pain which can be actually deceptively severe. For me I’m struggling and I’m in a very high stress state. However in just 3 short weeks with the exercises
“Working kindly with pain” as Dave put it. I’m not necessarily stress free but I’m almost pain free from not being able to walk!! The first key is much to my surprise
BREATHING!! Very quick release of a lot of the muscles. So yes BREATH WELL BE AWARE and for my individual case PAIN DISSAPEARS..so if there was an injury it would be the best way to identify it.
The results are truly mind blowing especially for those of you who maybe going through a hard time. 9/10 times I also now know the deeper reason for stress.
But I certainly feel like I can do anything (which I can’t) and that’s where patience is key and consistency as well as a far improved mind set.
This is something I tried, working through and truly the results are outstanding and that’s an understatement. I would encourage anyone who knows more to request more on it and for those in the same boat as me to try it. Wild geese are free and explore 😊. PS: Dave if you’re the only one receiving this, if you think it’s of value please send it to our wonderful family. Warmest Regards, Khalid Hamdy
The email Khalid was responding to was this edition of the email newsletter:
Let's summarise what we've talked about and worked on in Khalid's sessions, without giving too much away about his very personal situation.
He came to me with pain.
Crippling, debilitating pain that was preventing him enjoying any form of movement.
Through a video call we started a fairly usual Anatomy in Motion assessment, but from reading Khalid's body language, it was clear to me that we were dealing with a very high state of arousal.
His stress levels were off the charts
His mental health was in a worse condition than his mental health.
Fortunately he is seeing a psychologist and is willing to be honest and open with me.
So what did we do, and how can that help you?
We created routine.
If you're not working or working from home, your routine has changed, it may have been lost entirely.
There are 2 key parts to the day.
The morning routine and the shut down routine.
Get one right, the other one starts to fall in to place.
Once these "bookends" are in place, the rest of the day just happens.
To quote Jocko Willink, Discipline Equals Freedom
Be disciplined about:
Getting out of bed in a timely manner, do NOT snooze that alarm
Getting light into the eyes, ideally daylight, so face a window
Checking in with the breathing
Movement, be it rehabilitive or developmental, get the blood flowing and joints oiled.
In the evening:
Dim the lights
Use light from a lower angle
Check in with the breathing
Stop all work related activity
Get to bed for sleeping, not screen time
In doing this we are down regulating our CNS with both the use of the eyes and the breath.
The AM movement becomes your "warm up" for the day ahead
The right movement choices will have you feeling alert and ready better than any cup of coffee will.
You can have your coffee after....
Next is the trick.
Homo Sapiens is a social species
That reminds me, look up a book called "The Naked Ape" by Desmond Morris.
It's a fantastic look at defining genus Homo Sapiens as if it were a newly discovered species. Morris' observations are incredibly eye opening and devoid of the social / religious / cultural limitations we place on how we discuss our own species.
But no one can deny we are social animals.
You MUST find a way to spend time in the company of like minded people.
If not physically, then get on the phone, get on a video call or a conference call.
Just do it.
Now, throw in some physical exercise, skills training and reading (pleasure and learning) as you reduce media input and you're on the right lines
It might seem like a lot.
Especially if you're also juggling work and family.
I get it.
But remember that Jocko quote.
Your discipline to get the morning routine set.
To prep good food
To make time to exercise
To get natural light into your eyes
This will set you free
It will allow you more mental and physical energy and robustness to take on whatever comes.
Now, the ball is in your court.
You are responsible for you, but your friends, family and professionals like myself are all here to help you.
Get to it