Get active and get space

Yesterday, I mentioned that last week was not my best week. Today, Tany (my wife) shares about her own struggles and the steps she has taken to minimise the impact. 

There are a couple of warning signs for the state of my own mental health. Today, after a week-and-a-half of home schooling, I noticed one of the warning signs and thought it may be helpful to share it with others…

Working from home, my level of exercise, activity and steps drops significantly but I find I am mentally tired. My warning trigger is when I start to feel tired all day and struggle to wake up in the morning, even when I haven’t done anything to warrant being that tired.

Years ago, when I first noticed this, I did nothing about it. Instead, I slept more, ate more and just got lower and lower. Some of my friends will remember when I finally worked out, with their help, a way up and out of my slump and ways to avoid this in the future.

For those that are struggling now:

Firstly, don’t knock the home schooling, it’s exhausting, especially if you are not a natural teacher. You are going to be mentally tired and that’s OK.

But, add to that, not leaving the house and getting minimal exercise, your body goes into a form of hibernation which isn’t healthy. It tends to affect your mental health before physically causing issues.

The answer for me was getting active and getting space. Even though you don’t feel it, and trust me I was soooooo not in the mood yesterday, try a bit of PE with Joe, Zumba, boxercise (or whatever takes your fancy) on YouTube (the kids can watch if they don’t want to join in). Then get yourself outside, sit in the garden, go for a walk, even better a run, listen to your favourite music, take time for yourself.

Also, take vitamin D as long as there is no medical reason for you not to. Most doctors advise anyone in the northern hemisphere to take vitamin D during winter. A lack of it will make you feel tired, sluggish and generally rubbish especially as we aren’t outside much at the moment!

So last night I got 8 1/2 hrs sleep (and I wanted tonnes more) and generally felt shattered. There was no physical reason for it, so I forced myself into PE with Joe (ask Phil, I DID NOT want to do it!) then I did home school in the garden (with jackets & gloves) followed by a half-hour run listening to positive uplifting music.

I am still tired, but it’s an, ‘I’ve done stuff’ kind of tired. Mentally, I’m a lot, lot better.

Knowing myself, tomorrow it will be easier to get out of bed, but that’s because I caught myself on day one. I just need to keep the activity going

If this sounds like you, give yourself a good couple of weeks of trying to get active and find some space. I’m sure it will help, but it does take time. The earlier you catch the trend, the easier and quicker you’ll get out of your slump.

I hope this helps – hang in there xx

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