Now, you may think that this is a really weird question for me to ask but here me out.
I joined the gym the other day (even though I have been resisting since I last joined and gave up 2 years ago...).
It's costing £34 a month.
I have the option of having a few personal training sessions at between £30 & £50 per hour.
I'm not quite ready for someone to shout at me just yet but we'll see...
But what has this got to do with mental health?
Well, at the gym you pay someone for the pleasure of doing loads of hard work yourself.
Recovering from mental ill health is exactly the same.
Except - no one want's to pay to fix their brains.
We'll all shell out hundreds on new gym gear and monthly memberships (of which you're usually tied into for 12 months and give up after a couple).
The thing about recovering from mental health difficulties is you don't need a swanky new outfit.
You don't need to sign up to have access special equipment.
The only thing you ever need to do is show up and do the work.
Even better there's no yearly contract.
You're usually back to your old self in 12 weeks.
Yeah, I said 12 weeks.
Not 12 months, or 12 years.
The thing that's really nuts is that you can take action for far less and have dramatic results but many just wont.
A lot of people want to be happy, free from depression, free from stress but in all reality would rather stay just where they are.
I get it.
We have the NHS.
How long have you been waiting for that appointment?
3 months, 6 months, 12 months...
How different would your life be if you didn't wake up feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and as though you are ready to jack it all in?
Now, I'm not saying that physical health is not important - it really is and to be honest they're both linked.
You can't have one without the other.
But, everyone seems to get it the wrong way round.
You can't loose weight or become physically healthy if your brain is firing out stress hormones 98% of the day.
Your body literally holds onto every ounce of fat in your meals because it thinks you're about to fend of a lion, get eaten by a dinosaur or fight the other caveman for your dinner.
It's not prepared for the email inbox that's causing you constant stress.
Or the boss who just won't let up meaning you're falling into an even darker state of depression.
Yes, exercise will help produce all the happy hormones.
But if your life is that bad right now - you'll have to be going for hours and hours a night...
Oh, and there's not much point going to they gym if you then head home and have a glass of wine or a pint of beer because of how stressful your day has been.
Have you even looked at the calories in those?
OK, it's true vodka has like virtually 0 calories (and it's the mixers that cause the havoc).
But, if you're having to go home and crack open a bottle of vodka because of your day I'm pretty sure you could do with a different type of help?
A proactive type of help which not only gets you through the way you're feeling right now but also safeguards your mental health for the future because you're the one doing the work.
Much like your gym membership - where you know what to do to get into shape.
Real therapy shows you what you need to do and you do all the work.
So, here's the deal.
Put your mental health first.
Honestly, your physical health and that body you're after will magically appear when you're focused on being mentally healthy.
Have a great Tuesday & I'll catch up with you soon - Katie.
p.s. If you're struggling with stress and wan't to avoid it turning into depression or anxiety but don't have the time to see a therapist right now then: