Happy Place

I got asked a question a month ago and the question is in an abrupt ‘inform me please’ tone which I didn’t appreciate.

Why do you go to the gym?

This person then went on to say (before I could answer) “well look at you. You don’t need it”. Who are you to tell me what I need? This person had never met me before and had a very ‘self-entitled’ vibe. I don’t mind if people are curious or genuine but with her tone taken it was much of a personal dig. I responded by saying “I go for my mental health”. This person continued to say “well…why don’t you walk around the forest or ride a bike”. Again, this person doesn’t know me. If this person knew me, they would know I live in a very busy city. Where is the forest? And I can’t afford a bike on top of all the other expenses in life. Even if I could afford a bike I wouldn’t have much of a good environment to ride it in. But as she was questioning my life, I couldn’t help but think, why do I have to justify my actions to anyone.

Whether you go gym for mental health, Instagram, medical conditions etc that’s your wish and what you do in the gym is completely up to you. Whether you spend an hour only on the treadmill or spend the majority of your time lifting weights, as long as you are happy that is all that matters.

People find what works for their mental health in different places. A lot of people take up hobbies or go travelling, whereas I spend my time in the gym weight training. I like the feeling. I like going on the treadmill to think and clear my head and I like going to a gym where no one knows me and I can zone out. I know many people who go to the gym and tell me how relieved and amazing they feel once they have left. Yes, this has a lot to do with endorphins being released and cheering us up but the gym isn’t always that happy place for everyone. For example, I love shopping online and I love the feeling of something I want being delivered to me, trying it on, seeing how it looks and fits and suddenly I have a new outfit I can’t wait to wear out but that happiness is not the same happiness and me pushing my mind and body in the gym. That is the one place I can go and switch off and I can’t say that about a lot of places.

Moral of the post is, don’t let anyone question your actions. I took that question very personal because I felt the need to defend my mental health and when people ask questions like that, they don’t realise how you might interrupt it. Find your happy place and let it take care of you.

Maintaining friendships while stressing

Keeping it blunt- unfortunately, when stress becomes part of your life, your friends are not a priority. You need to think about your well-belling and focus on what is causing you stress and how to resolve it.

Maintaining friendships while going through stress, purely depends on you. Are you the type of person to take the stress out on others? Do you trust your friends? Once you’ve answered these questions, understand that your friends (if real friends) should either help you through your situation or allow you time to breathe and work it out for yourself. Your friends might have a big impact on how you handle your situation and might help you to understand it more.

Everyone reacts differently and your friends should understand how to approach you. When my friends are going for a tough time, depending on the personality I am dealing with, I could either say ‘let us talk about it’ or just give them space and check on them now and then. Your friends should respect your personality and work out the best way to approach you without coming across nosey or intrusive.

Sometimes it might be best for you to ‘ghost’ and make your friends aware you need time to work on you. If this is the case, your friendship should be strong enough to last. You don’t need to see or speak to your friends everyday/week to be labelled friends. If you need a week to yourself, your friends will be there once you’ve had time to do you.

As I said before, your friends might be able to help you through; whether they help to de-clutter your life or take the stress away from you. I have my go-to people and friends also come to me when they’re stressed or have an issue, and no matter how long it takes we will work it out together. Personally, over the recent weeks, I’ve been stressed over work and if I didn’t run on the treadmill and let my close friends know how I’m feeling I would have probably ended up having a breakdown.

To maintain friendships, think about how much you value each other and what friendship means to you.

Working with a disorder

Sometimes you want to handle things on your own and don’t want to let everyone know how you’re feeling; however, it is important to inform your workplace on any disorders or negative feelings you have. 2019 has been the year for mental health awareness and at a time like this, many organisations are coming up with strategies to better the workplace environment and be more ‘hands-on.

Find out and understand what your workplace has to order and make use of opportunities. If you have an intranet that offers well-being information, workshops, blogs, find out more. Some workplaces do mental health weeks which including inviting animals in (mainly dogs), social events, yoga, guest speakers and more.

Contact occupational health and get advice. Sometimes people are scared to speak to occupation health because it seems like a cry for help and people get worried that information might get back to their work colleagues or supervisor, however, occupation health is confidential, qualified and the majority of the time outsourced, therefore not directly part of your company. Ask them what could be done personally and professionally to support you whilst you’re working.

Mental health first aiders. As mentioned previously, my last job offered ‘Mental Health At Work First Aid’ as a course, whether you work with youths or adults (If you would like further information, please find me a message). These courses are different durations but I did the 1-day course and it is the most beneficial course I have ever done. If you are not coping or need further support whilst at work, go to the mental health first aider on shift. Bear in mind this is fairly new, so your workplace might not be at this stage yet, however, there’s no harm in showing your manager or training team this information and requesting for the course to be looked into. The course touches on a range of disorders, how to communicate with people and looks at a range of perspectives. Mental health first aiders are not professionals, which is sometimes a good thing depending on the person who needs the support. Sometimes its ideal to have a friendly face they can listen to you from time to time.


So taking this into account, don’t ever feel like you have to suffer in silence or have nowhere to turn. There is always help and there is always a variety which means of going to the well-being page on the work intranet doesn’t work, maybe talking to a colleague will.

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