By Noel Paine
“We are all very different but everyone can benefit from talking.” – Noel Paine
To help raise awareness about mental health during Bell Let’s Talk Day, I took over iRun‘s Twitter account. A healthy and positive frame of mind is something I have struggled with of over the past year, more or less. I am a running dad and have battled depression – reaching rock bottom when I was googling suicide methods.
Raising awareness and money to help mental health programs is great. The next step is to continue being aware of the issue and to encourage people to talk about it. Those who suffer from mental health problems need to know that there is help, there are programs and that mental issues are as important as physical ailments. People who are plagued by negative thoughts and mental issues often run away from help and others because they are embarrassed, feel unworthy or simply want to be left alone.
- Mental health goes hand in hand with physical health
- A strong mind can help a strong body
- Mental strength can only happen with mental health
If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, from the perspective of another runner and someone who has battled to be positive and mentally healthy – here are some tips.
- Take the first step
- Depression and anxiety tell you to do nothing, to defeat both, do something
- Get out of bed, go out and get a coffee – small steps can have a big impact
- It is okay to take sick days to treat your mental health
- Talk with someone
- Reach out for help
- Keeping lacing up and going for a run if you can, remember, small steps
Running has helped me clearmy head and realize I still enjoy something, that I can accomplish something and has helped me battle for positive mental health. It is just one tool in my tool kit. I talk to a psychologist, have a life coach, organized my own retreat, I meditate, have a journal, try and practice positive thinking and share my experiences on my personal blog. Everyone is different – but one thing is the same, you need to talk to someone.
Talking about mental health lets others know it is okay to talk about. Talking encourages those suffering to reach out and this can save a life. Keep running my friends, keep being positive and keep the conversation going.
Noel Paine is a communications professional, running coach, and father based in Ottawa. Paine is a regular iRun contributor and you can also follow his journey on Twitter @NoelPaine.