(You literally can't get it wrong!)
Until you can get your hands on a copy of 'Your Mental Health Workout - a 5 week programme for a happier, healthier mind' in May 2021, this information will be available for free. It will be helpful for you to make a weekly and daily plan of how you intend to incorporate the exercises below and keep a journal of your progress, What felt easy or difficult? Where do you need more support? When does your motivation start to suffer? Once you've got the book, you will find worksheets and journal guidance as well as tonnes more information in the form of modifications, regressions and progressions of these exercises in order to make Your Mental Health Workout the best fit for you.
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Consider mindfulness the equivalent to hydrating your workout. It is a helpful source of refreshment that you can always have available. It is designed to help you feel calmer, more connected and, the metaphor being, better hydrated so that you stay healthy during all this hard work. For those who struggle to create space for themselves during busy days and demanding jobs, no one would stop you grabbing a glass of water, give yourself the same permission to hydrate your mind by grabbing a mindful moment.
Mindfulness can be a challenging workout because when something difficult is happening our realities can be very painful and it can take time to feel confident enough to observe your reality, without getting injured, without judging it. It takes effort and commitment to develop the mindful muscles that will eventually become part of your lifestyle choice.
Your Mental Health Workout for 1 x Mindfulness.
1. Agree a time each day.
2. Set a time limit.
3. Notice your breath.
4. Notice your thoughts and feelings.
The appreciation section of YOUR MENTAL HEALTH WORKOUT is where you get your full mind-body workout. This workout involves:
3 x Affirmations per day
3 x Gratitudes per day
(increased repetitions where necessary).
Affirmations work by strengthening your self-concept and aligning your self-image with where you need to be. They provide definition around who you are. Those short, punchy, one-liners don’t work for everyone and the affirmations you choose need to be personalized to you and what we are working through. They might look more like affirmative conversations to start with, you can add technique and definition as you develop endurance around this mental health workout.
Gratitude is the other half of the Appreciation section. Having a solid gratitude practice is the mental health equivalent to the post-workout glow…it looks good on everyone. Used consistently, it unlocks vitality and joy in your life.
Repetition is most vital in this section. If it helps you stay committed and accountable you might like to share, post or tell someone about. Tag @yourmentalhealthworkout on Instagram so we can connect and inspire each other.
Movement, different to exercise, is interval training for your mind. As with physical training, we see great results in short amounts of time when rest and recovery are involved.
Moving your body four (or more) times a day connects your mind to your body. In a world where we are often stagnant for long periods, feelings get trapped in our physical body and depression and anxieties can build-up if we don’t give ourselves a chance to move. Change your energy, take eye breaks, energy breaks, walk around the block, anything that gets your body moving without a cardiovascular focus.
Here is a list of questions to help you narrow down your search for a therapeutic space.
1. Do you want 1:1 sessions or group sessions? 2. What gender would you prefer? 3. What age therapist would you prefer?
4. Do you need them to specialise in a specific thing? e.g. anxiety or bulimia 5. What do you want to get out of going to therapy?
Due to the 2020 Covid 19 pandemic most therapeutic spaces have moved on line, which makes including therapy in your week much more accessible. Providing there is no second wave, most therapists and therapeutic spaces will recommence face to face sessions towards the end of the year. Here are some websites to check out if you are looking for a therapist here in the UK:
Finding a way to exercise out of love and connection for your body rather than out of punishment can sometimes be a challenge. For those who are in recovery from any type of eating disorder, body image issues or exercise addiction as well as those who are not, I suggest using exercise as a way to connect with your body and mind rather than focusing only on the physical output. Here are my top three workouts in London:
PSYCLE - Has a great for a variety of workouts that you can taylor to with with your mood, mind and body.
BARRY'S - Offers you high intensity workouts that will challenge your mind and body.
ROWBOTS - Works with psychological themes, developed to help you access more of your potential both physically and psychologically.
"I worked with Zoe for 6 months, prior to which I had always been quite sceptical about whether I would benefit from therapy . During that time she helped me to get to know myself, understand myself, and be kinder to myself.”
- Dr Zoe Williams
‘Zoe’s techniques are easy and give great results. Her work has given me wonderful insight into how I can look after my mind and makes mental wellness feel accessible to everyone. I highly recommend Your Mental Health Workout to anyone who has the desire to improve their emotional health.’ - Pixie Lott
'Through Zoe’s work, I have developed a greater understanding of the importance of the muscles of the mind. If you want to make your journey through life easier, then the first step you need to take is to get to know yourself better and the full potential of your mind. Even at my age, I now know and am able to recognise the things that can be responsible for holding me back if I allow it to.' - Mr Motivator
This ebook is the small but mighty first aid kit you need in your back pocket 'just in case' - ready to help you find your way through a mental health crisis and prepare you for the full 5 week programme
(available May 2021)