It’s that time of year we just love to set goals. Don’t make any that don’t excite you though. A challenge keeps life exciting. They say fear makes us feel alive.
When it comes to exercise and eating, though, I always do it for the soul first then the new dress. Running and getting off the sofa to keep active helps me to be happy. Exercise is the most underrated anti-depressant out there. Those natural all feelgood endorphins are proven to give us a boost.
Last year my goal was to run a marathon. It was hard. There were days I really could not be bothered training. I never regretted a session, though. I felt energised and rejuvenated. I also had feelings of pride and achievement, which in turn helped me to be happy.
Dropping a couple of dress sizes was the icing on the cake. However, it was never my number one motivation because if the girl looking fabulous in a tight dress isn’t happy, it’s pointless.
Whist we can’t put a price on happiness, there are things we can do to help us.
I used to be one of those naive people who thought you could tell someone with depression to “pull themselves together”. Then the illness hit someone very close to me.
Sometimes we find it much harder to be happy. Often people need extra support and care, like a person suffering a physical illness would.
We are all a victim of mental health in some way, be it with stress, a lack of confidence, relationship issues, grief or many of the taboo topics that we like to sweep under the carpet. My wish is that we try and tackle these head-on this year.
In a world with such sad news my wish is we keep talking, sharing and supporting. We don’t keep too much of our problems bottled up.
Talking helps, as does something simple like getting outside for a walk or a run. Going for a swim or a yoga class. Keeping in touch with friends. Us humans are more similar than we think. Let’s take care of each other.
JoJo Fraser is a mental health ambassador and author of the popular blog mummyjojo.com