Importance of Diet to Mental Health

The saying “You are what you eat” is such a commonly used phrase in modern day but the amount of pressure that phrase puts on people is truly awful! It’s well known that I have Yoyoed with my diet for around 3 years now due to many reasons. 15 months ago I was 18 and half stone and now I sit at 15 after going down to around 14 and half 12 months ago. Every time I put on considerable weight when I was struggling with mental health and life, whether that be depression, anxiety, deaths, personal problems or break ups, destroyed my already broken soul.

So onto why diet is so important in dealing with mental health. I can vouch for myself and the people who I’m close to, in particular my direct family, who agree that by eating well, losing weight, self esteem increases. The amount of times mental health instigates weight increase, is untold and really not understood.

Yes my diet is not perfect nor overly strict and yes I eat my junk food and cheat meals, but most people enjoy a treat or two when they’ve worked hard at gym or in their work/uni lives.

Changing my diet improved my mental health and helped me to become mentally resilient to the troubles and worries I face in my life. With the stress and anxiety I’ve faced lately with uni amongst other things, I firmly believe I would have taken considerable time off work had it not been for a good diet and food regime. What so many people aren’t aware of or the last 2 years in May, I’ve had 2-3 weeks off work due to mental health issues and dare I say, depression and suicidal thoughts, but things year I only gave in for about a day and a bit off work! Considering the trend of the last few years, I don’t believe 1 day is a failure.

With parents being away this week, it would be very easy to binge on junk food consistently but infact due to loving cooking and being a reasonable chef, I’ve coped. Although, I’m being lazy tonight and having a cheat meal due to be shattered from working my backside off the last 3 days!

So uni deadline is Thursday and the final assignment is 3/4 done! Really happy with it so far so once it’s completed tomorrow it’s simply just fine tuning it and then Thursday night, a few drinks will be in order!:)

The amount of posts on here may drop again now due to the incredible opportunity which has risen to blog for Student Minds UK, a student specific mental health based charity, which is an honour and privilege!:)

So until the next time

Thankyou for reading this,

AR

Student Stress

Like most other students in the UK, I am feeling severely stressed as the academic year comes to an end. This weekend in particular, I have felt as if I’m constantly underwater and can’t breath because of everything that is going on in my mind. Feeling sick, light headed and the feeling of not wanted to go on. I’ve felt like not bothering to end this academic year at all. Or simply, just giving up on everything including work, social life, family life, you can get the picture!

This is for me natural at this time of year anyway due to May being a particularly horrible month anyway for me personally, but the additional stress has been hard. Admittedly I’m on medication for my anxiety and depression but even that medication isn’t having a real effect at present. Feeling constantly suffocated is for me the worst feeling in the world.

From the age of 10/11 right up to all 30+ year olds plus, exams and assignments are part of education but it’s clearly a dangerous pressure. Looking online this morning at helplines etc, there isn’t a specific student one which is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Speaking from my personal experiences, this is something which is clearly needed.

I know of many people who would use it and just how helpful it would be. Admittedly, funding for something like this would be required, but just putting out there to anyone who may read this, would you recommend a service like that to a student who you knew was suffering with their end of year stress?

Dream scenario would be for me to go and contact practitioners and try to make a service available but right now that’s unrealistic. Although, who’s to say it won’t happen one day in years to come?

Personally I only started to feel the stress and pressure of eduction when at 6th form which was when my journey to being diagnosed with autism began. From being diagnosed with anxiety, to social anxiety to depression and then finally autism.

Until next time,

AR

Running and How it’s Changed My Life

March 29th 2017, the day everything changed. I had conveniently “forgotten” I had signed up for the Shrewsbury 10k and on the 28th, my neighbour who had also signed up for it, reminded me about it in front of parents, meaning, I had to do it!

I was horrendously over weight, tipping scales in excess of 18 Stone and had no suitable footwear for the event, but as I say, I HAD TO DO IT.

The day came, started the event with one of the most important people in my life, Mel, by my side who was the whole reason why I had signed up for it in the first place. We both said, after this event, we would NEVER do an event again…….. Me being the silly tit, that I am, decided I was comfortable so went of a bit quick after 1k or so, by 4K at bottom of Port Hill, I was blowing out of backside as the saying goes. To cut a long story short, the event felt horrendous until the final 20 Metres!

The sense of accomplishment and adrenaline I had once I had finished it, was truly unforgettable and irreplaceable. 3 weeks later I was on the start line for my 2nd 10K and my favourite to date. Tomorrow I enter my 4th official 10K event, I have since ran the distance a few times again just myself, but that’s not the point of this post.

The whole reason behind this post, is to really emphasise how much running in my case, but endurance sport in general can save and change people’s lives. The positive endorphins it releases have saved me many a time across the past year and a bit and if it wasn’t for running, god knows where I would be!

I remember the 3 part documentary the BBC did last year which followed the training progress of 8 people who had severe mental health issues as they trained for the London Marathon. Every participant spoke about how running had changed their lives for the good in every aspect. I’m not preaching that running is the only way to get that feeling of fulfilment but it’s my personal medication.

Each person has a love of a different sport, but I ask people, if you feel down, get up despite it may being so dam hard to do so, and do something physical. A long walk, a countryside cycle, some gym work or it may even be press ups or squats. It helps and I will preach that to anyone and everyone happily.

Would I be where I am now without running? In short, NO! Mental health affects so many people and so many people hide and do not have the confidence to speak up for help or to talk about it. It is increasingly important for mental health to be spoken about socially and make those worried to share what they may think is a weakness. If mental health wasn’t such a sensitive subject and had as much ignorance, people may have the confidence to contact a doctor and change their lives.

Anyone and everyone can be active, but they can’t be forced to do so. I firmly believe that in life, in courage and bravery, comes change and support.

So no matter what happens in the Market Drayton 10K tomorrow, that feeling of crossing the finishing line, will be just as special as the last.

AR

Returning

After 2 + years of being away from the blog, I’ve decided to pick it up again. This time with a slightly different emphasis. Instead of daily blogging for sake of blogging, I only intent to post when relevant issues are in the news for whatever reason.

This time I also have no intention of the blog being picked up by the national Autistic society either, simply blogging for the enjoyment of it and ultimately to help just that 1 person like I have previously done years ago. Funnily enough, one post last year hit figures of 1500+ views which may not sound like much, but given there was no promotion from this site, I am pretty happy with that!:)

So onto the relevance of this post. As so many Corrie watchers will know, suicide is in the news and across the show the last few days. It is naturally such a taboo of a subject but why? Seems like so many males these days can’t express their fears without society adding pressures and connotations on them.

Reality is, throughout my life, I have attempted it once and on a number of occasions planned to do it and written out the dreaded suicide not. Why I did not go through with it, is simply because I found strength from somewhere where I did not expect to find it. This subject needs to spoken about further and more openly rather than hidden. Mental health of males is such a hidden secret and unspoken topic. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE!

Each day I struggle with my mental health but through support from family, friends, colleagues and a good cuddle from the Dog, I find a way through the blackened days and into the fresh light of the morning. Running has undoubtedly helped me the last year and a bit too. It’s true the endorphins released from exercise truly exist and help.

People who have gotten to know me the last 2 years since my last public post, may be surprised that I have this blog and will speak candidly about any subject to try and rid the pressures that society places on this taboo topics.

Until next time,

AR