Those of you who know me or have been following along on my journey, know that mental health is kinda a big deal for me, having struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager. My lowest point was in 2013 which was also the year I discovered mountain biking and began to turn things around for myself. Yes, I finally started doing things for myself and not doing things I though that others wanted me to do or that I felt I should do. This new found freedom of self discovery lead me across Asia and to New Zealand, where I have happily made my home the last 5 years.
I thought moving away from my problems would make them go away, but it turns out that depression and anxiety are within you and you can’t just out run them. I’ve had a few rough patches since being in NZ, but after much trial and error feel I have finally found a way to help me cope with my mental health issues. I embrace them. If I feel anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, stressed or even happiness; I like to sit and be still with my emotions, to feel what I need to feel and stop fighting against it. Sometimes I sit and cry, other times I am more peaceful and focus on my breathing. But I have found that meditating daily, even for 5-10 mins has helped me so much.
I’ve realised that things will not always feel good and be easy and you shouldn’t believe people who act like it is that way. Life is a struggle and its going to be hard, but that’s OK. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can embrace the struggle and get on with things (its taken me 31 years). My new attitude is; if its hard and uncomfortable then its worth doing. Make the hard choices each day, whether that’s getting out of bed before noon, or having a salad at home over take out, or doing the workout, or making the phone call. We all have our own struggles and we are the only ones who can help ourselves get through it.
Life is tough, but so are you and you can do this.