Mental Health Struggles: My Personal Journey So Far…

Taking care of your mental health and looking after your physical health work together. It’s essential to take time to invest in both activities and turn them into daily routines. Imagine a less-stressed life and the benefits it could have for you? Sometimes I still think I’m beginning my health and fitness journey. When I look at how far my mental health has improved, I sense that my journey into health has only begun.

Often, we feel bombarded with fitness fads or advice, and it’s hard to make decisions suitable for our own lifestyles. Hopefully my article based on my own real-life experience will help give a valuable perspective. Follow on for more in Mental Health Struggles: My Personal Journey So Far…

Overlooking My Mental Health made Me Realize Just how Important it is…

During my youth, I’d always loved to run; I loved how it made me feel. I completed a half-marathon at 17 years-old, and was the youngest at the event. But I didn’t think my life would slowly start unraveling the way it did over the next few months due to bad lifestyle choices and trauma.

Despite loving fitness in my early years and having the most inspiring teachers encouraging my running, I fell into a toxic lifestyle. I never once believed that my mental health could trigger a series of events leading to psychosis. I encourage others to talk to professionals regularly to have mental health check-ups.

Becoming Aware of My Own Mental Health

During psychosis, I learned I wasn’t the only person to not be coping with their mental health. I spent time in a hospital ward to recover from my first breakdown. Some of these people were young in the ward, and others had experienced breakdowns later in life. I noticed that people did not always have the support system they needed for themselves.

Getting My Life Together Got Easier when I Focused on My Health

I wished for my mental health to make a complete recovery. I turned to naturopaths, doctors, and counselors. But when I began a running group, I surrounded myself with people who lived healthier lifestyles, and I recognized a less toxic lifestyle existed for me.

Some of these runners were vegan and ran because they loved the experience of goal setting for their fitness. Others ran to maintain weight or because it made them feel healthier. Overall, these were some of the happiest people I’d ever met.

I Began to Set Goals

I learned to be more disciplined with my health and how to set goals. While I didn’t focus entirely on my mental health directly, my moods were improving, and people had noticed a happier version of me.

I started with smaller running goals: I aimed for 3K’s then eventually larger fun runs. Finally, I achieved a marathon with intense training and watching my diet. Creating health goals allows you to not be so distracted by other influences in your life.

A Few Trauma Triggers Made Me Realize Something was Missing…

After experiencing some trauma again, I began focusing more on my mental health, visiting a few health professionals. It took months to see myself have a stable mindset again.

Although I had become lethargic due to my mental health, my energy started increasing when I focused more on my nutrition. While nutrition was vital for accomplishing a marathon, I felt my mental health could’ve become compromised again if I hadn’t kept track of my diet.

I am now completing a degree, and I’ve noticed that the better my diet becomes, the easier it becomes to achieve distinctions. For my condition, nutrition was so important, and I learned that when I ate ‘cleaner’ food, it was easier for me to tackle more challenging situations.

Although I still have a few injuries, I still attend a gym and regularly run. Running remains something which I love to do. I aim to do further studies in health and nutrition as I want to learn more about living an optimally healthier lifestyle.

I strongly encourage others to have mental health check-ins with professionals. It’s best to find someone you trust to work with deep issues.

Also think carefully about how important and interconnected your diet and fitness are. Our minds can be strong, but we need to create an environment of positive reminder triggers for them to thrive!

Do you use exercise to help nourish your mental health? Let us know in the comments below and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram

Jeannie White

Jeannie White lives in Adelaide, Australia. Her lifelong passion is running and she enjoys it as an endurance sport. Her running interests began in her teenage years, and she entered community events. Jeannie is interested in learning about health and realizes the particular importance of nutrition as she experienced health implications as a child. As her parents live on farms, she understands the benefits of sound nutrition!

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