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The Thing About Depression.....

As a pretty much lifelong sufferer of depression and an exercise devotee for the past 20 years, I wanted to share with you all my experiences of living with depression and how exercise helps.

When I talk about mental health with my clients, I come at it from a very empathetic viewpoint. I see people day in and day out who are struggling with mental health issues.

Exercise for me is a great tool to help improve my depression and keep it manageable and I am forever reminding people that when they decide to work with me, I focus on ALL AREAS of their health including mental alongside physical as they are intrinsically linked.


Even though you “should” be happy, you can’t.

There’s always a niggling feeling of being unsettled, an inability to relax, almost like you don’t deserve relaxation.

A worry that when you relax your mind will wander and you’ll start to fall down the rabbit hole further.

You feel guilty for feeling down, there are so many people in this world dealing with such awful situations and living far from their “best life”. You know people are thinking “what have you got to feel down about”, an attitude that really is held by those who have little to no understanding about mental health struggles.

There is a constant search for nuggets of pleasure or happiness “dopamine drops” (these can be in the form of food, alcohol or social media for me). These are just distractions. Versus my reliable “tool kit” of regular exercise, well-being and self care and my medication (escitalopram for those wondering).

The feelings of being “not good enough”; falling short or lacking in almost every area are real and vary in strength depending on how well I’ve been taking care of myself - I know these are mainly down to a lack of self confidence…. It’s a funny thing, I know!

Then there is the self criticism; the worry about what others think about you, the always striving for better because you believe what you do and who you are aren’t “enough” along with a good helping of people pleasing. It’s a constant battle of “positive self talk” and self love mantras (I am good enough, I am worthy, I am working on bettering myself etc.)

The logical mind battles against the illogical. You know you shouldn’t believe the negative thoughts, those feelings that aren’t always there but rear their ugly head from time to time.

The feeling of being partly embarrassed for speaking out and wondering whether people will label you or pigeon hole you and / or think “is she going on about this again?”. The truth is, I will ALWAYS talk about it, I will always NORMALISE it and I will continue to do my best in finding what works for me every day!

This is not a “woe is me” post, far from it. This is a normalising depression and discussing mental health post.

This is an honesty post and I know many of you will relate to varying degrees and I hope it helps you to know you aren’t alone.

If you’d like to chat about how exercise can help you manage your mental health symptoms, my inbox is waiting!

Sarah x

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