The bright light of the bulb sends a piercing pain through my eyeballs, my heart is racing, the once familiar world around me is closing in on me and my body feels frozen as adrenaline pumps through me…my mind and body erodes into this pit of anxiety.
This is me. It’s World Mental Health Day as I write this. And my Anxiety is as high as ever. I feel like a calm sea that has suddenly been engulfed by crashing waves.
I could feel mini waves building up inside me over the past week, triggers of mine and at times it feels like I’m drowning. Luckily these days I’ve learned to swim.
As a mental health campaigner, self love author and professional dancer people assume that I now have ‘recovered’ from my mental illnesses and I live a happy-go-lucky zen-filled life. Whilst I have more good times than bad, I am still a human and I still have mental health problems. But the difference being is that I now know how to manage this illness. I know when to tackle it, when to allow it and most of all I know how to be kind to myself and accept that I have severe anxiety and depression and, I probably always will.
But what many people don’t realise is how physical mentally ill health feels and the overwhelming connection between our mind and body something I studied for years as a Philosophy student.
HEALTH IS WEALTH! We need both mind and body to be well to experience full health.
I always talk about the importance of looking after your mind and body which are intrinsically connected and, I am even currently studying to be a qualified personal trainer as well as being accredited in mental health, yet I still get taken aback by the physical discomfort anxiety presents inside me.
I haven’t had a bout of anxiety like this for a while but I have learned how to deal with my mind and body when I get a lapse. When I am feeling stressed or anxious or my mind is overwhelmed or foggy, I know I need to move my body whether it be through exercise, dancing or doing something creative. It is times like these where my mind doesn’t make a lot of sense and even the smallest incident feels overwhelming. I also change my language around what I am going through and call it a ‘blip’ or ‘lapse’ in my mental health rather than a ‘breakdown’ or ‘attack’ because it reminds me that this wave will pass and that I have to keep going.
“You haven’t come this far, just to come this far,” is my life’s motto when I hit hurdles.
It has taken a lot of trial and error to get to this point in managing and maintaining my mental and physical health during lapses and most importantly to sustain my health i need to continue with self-care during the good times and bad establish a positive mind and body routine.
These habits reduce the impact of my dark days when it is much harder to see clearly and take action or to reach out.
My own mind and body training plan involves daily exercises in the morning when my cortisol levels are at their highest and I break up my day with physical movement which is often dancing or jogging to music for me.
I also regularly see my mental health nurse, I surround my home with positive affirmations and mantra, I meet loved ones when I can go for a coffee or walk, my partner Mike Green is a personal trainer so he sorts out my exercise and sleep plans, I take daily medication and most of all I make time for myself to eat, sleep and work in a healthy way. That said I am perfectly imperfect because I no longer strive for ‘perfection’ or the ‘perfect balance’ despite my ‘all or nothing’ personality, I just know that each day I will follow my routine as best as possible because rituals do equal results but if I slip up I don’t wait until Monday, I just try again the next day or even the next hour.
It has taken a while to get to this point as I would normally avoid seeing people, miss my appointments and just throw myself into work and unhealthy habits which acted as quick fixes.
It also helps focusing on my mind and mindset when my body feels weak or not wanting to move. I tend to stimulate my mind by learning new skills such as the fitness and mental health courses I am doing online at the moment.
Our holistic health is paramount because it is what keeps us well and feeling good.
So let’s take action, put a plan in place or get an expert to help build your strength in mind and body, so you have those tools if you too go through challenges.
This is the course gym instructor and personal trainer course I am doing with Origym: https://origym.me/dancersophie20 (affiliate link).
I also have a discount code if you want to try one of their many health and fitness courses : dancersophie20
For mind and body transformations, you can get a free personal training call from my partner and fitness mentor Mike Green: https://www.greenhealthpt.co.uk/busy-people-body-transformation/