Walking For Your Mental Health

Even as a qualified fitness instructor, I find the idea of strenuous exercise quite daunting. I’ve fallen off the wagon and been quite lazy over the last few months, especially since I quit working at the gym. Gathering motivation when you’re depressed is very difficult unfortunately.

However, I try my best to keep my fitness up with something I genuinely enjoy, and that’s walking. Walking is probably one of the most underrated forms of exercise in the fitness world as it’s deemed ‘not enough’. But, this post is to tell you that it absolutely is enough and you 100% will receive great benefits from regular brisk walking.

The physical benefits of walking can include;

  • Reduced risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease
  • Increased cardiac & pulmonary fitness
  • Encouraged weight loss and reduction of body fat
  • Increased bone strength
  • Increased muscle endurance
  • Boosted immune system

The mental benefits of walking can include;

  • Improved mood with the release of endorphins
  • Reduction of stress & anxiety
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Improved memory
  • Increased relaxation
  • Helps to control addiction

I enjoy walking for a lot of these reasons but for a few personal reasons too. As I’m not working at the moment I find it very difficult to separate my days, so it all ends up a big blur at times. So, it’s very important for me to get outside as part of a daily routine.

I also genuinely just love being outside in nature. The smell of fresh air is far too underrated and I could happily sit outside for hours with the sun on my face taking big, deep breaths. I find it so relaxing and it really helps me to feel at peace.

Walking ticks a lot of boxes for me and that’s why I love it so much. I’m very lucky to live in Cornwall as I’m surrounded by lots of beautiful places and the coastline is all around me, so there’s always lots to explore.

If you’re struggling with your MH and haven’t allowed your body some exercise, I would definitely recommend giving regular walking a go! Find advice from the NHS on starting out walking here.

Here’s a walk I went on yesterday evening – beautiful!


The Mental Wellbeing Class?


So – I’ve had an idea, and at the moment it is just an idea.

I’m always searching for avenues to help others with their mental health, and came up with the above. Fitness can be hugely beneficial to a person’s mental health and wellbeing. The benefits can include;

  • Boosted Self-Esteem
  • Increase in Endorphins (the happy stuff!)
  • Reduction in stress & anxiety
  • Boosted Energy
  • Boosted Confidence

I’d like to create a safe place for people to come, who are looking for relief from their mental health troubles, or even just to aid their wellbeing. They should know they are surrounded by like-minded people who are their friends. So basically – a support group without the standing up and talking bit.

The class itself would be a nice, steady aerobic based class to end with a prolonged stretching/relaxation period with breathing exercises.

I’ve not had a massive response, but it’s definitely been positive. So it’s definitely something for me to consider once I’ve decided how I would structure the entire session and also had the ok from my Manager.


Mon 16 ‘Jan – An overdue trip to the Dr’s


I actually fought with myself over writing this post. Because, it took me a lot to even talk to my Doctor properly about it. But – I want to stay true to this purpose and this blog, and stay true to the brutality of the never ending torture of struggling with your mental health.

I visited my Doctor again today because I’ve finally accepted that there is something much more underlying than just anxiety and depression (just I say!).

After speaking in depth about my emotions and how I live my day to day life, and have been referred to a psychiatrist for evaluation. Specifically to consider Bipolar Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder, more likely the latter. I also have blood tests booked to check my thyroid again, although it’s been checked 2/3 times already.

I know I suffer with anxiety, and I know I suffer with depression. But I can be out this world depressed one morning, and then by the end of the day, I’m happy as Larry. I’m ridiculously impulsive, and change what I want all the time. The inconsistency in my mind is absolutely exhausting, especially as I’ve been trying to ignore it.

So hopefully, this could be a step in the right direction.


10 Jan ’17

img_3503Well I actually managed to go for a swim yesterday afternoon before I went to work. It was actually really refreshing and stress relieving – and bonus.. I had the pool to myself! I’m not a fantastic swimmer but it was great to actually get in some cardio.

Not feeling fantastic today tbh. Feeling very fatigued, and the nausea from feeling anxious has almost washed away after being sat down at work for over an hour.

9-7.30 today, I’ll get through.





I’ve actually been proactive. At probably around 1.30am last night(or this morning? w/e) when I gave up trying to get to sleep I decided to create a Facebook Page for this blog (www.facebook.com/mysweetanxiety), that way I can post lots of different mental health related things, to people who actually care.

I worry that people might get annoyed with my constant posting on mental health related stuff on my personal page. I did worry about creating the page as well tbh, as I thought does this really warrant a Facebook page?? but nevertheless – I’ve done it, and I’d be so, so grateful for a Like.

I also stumbled across the #EndTheStigma movement collages, which I think are BEAUTIFUL. So I have created one too 🙂


Only just got up and it’s 11.30am, but at least I made it up before 12..pros and cons, pros and cons..

I have new oils coming today (Tangerine, Cedarwood & Peace & Calming) and I’m VERY excited! *Remember* if you are interested in trying out essential oils, I’d love to help you out with a discounted Premium Starter Kit from Young Living! Just ‘Become a Member’ with my member I.D. – 10482904.









I’ve actually managed to get in the gym twice this week after a short (ok maybe long..) break due to chronic laziness and lack of motivation. I know I preach about how good exercise is for your mental health, but even I find myself pulling the duvet over my eyes for ‘just another 5 minutes’ until there’s no time at all. Fuck it.

But, I’m proud that I have managed to get in, it genuinely makes me feel so good and has boosted my ‘happiness’ this week for sure.

I’m now diffusing Lavender, R.C. & Mental Clarity, enjoying some coffee (how cool is my mug!) and watching a Disney movie (of which I have no idea what is going on in..).

I’m feeling very thankful for those who read my blog, take the time to get in touch with and offer me words of advice and encouragement. You guys are truly beautiful people and each and every one of you push me on to see each day.

Thank you guys so much, you’re the bomb!


#MentalMovement / How Getting Active Can Help Manage Your Anxiety


Experiencing Anxiety can be totally crippling for your entire life – believe me, I’ve experienced it first-hand. So, finding something that truly helps manage it can be totally life changing. I experienced that life changing feeling when I chose to commit myself to the gym.

The benefits of exercise for physical health have been long established, but the benefits for mental health seem to be somewhat overlooked, where a box of pills seems to be just what everybody needs – I disagree. It has been scientifically proven that getting active improves your mental wellbeing. I do currently take Anti-Depressants, but I have never really been sure if they work for me or not. Exercise is different.

Click here to read my full article!


It’s that time of year for everybody – time to look back on the year we’ve had and reflect on the good, the bad and everything in between!

In terms of the world – it seems 2016 has been a rollercoaster. Brexit & Trump. Prince & David Bowie. Terrorism. A lot of awful things have indeed happened this year, but I’m sure there are a lot of good things too.

In terms of me? I think to myself and I think I’ve had one of the worst years of my life, and probably one of the best too? Dealing with my breakdown and not working for almost 6 months due to illness, was one of the hardest personal battles I’ve ever had. Thinking back on those days I spent, hiding under the duvet, not eating, not talking, fearing the outside world really ignites an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach.

However – I came out of it on top. And, I hate to be cliche.. But I really feel like I ‘found myself’ y’know? I’m learning about myself and how to manage my mental health each and every day, but I’ve really come a long way and I am genuinely very proud of myself – and I’m not afraid to say that. If you pull your way through an episode or a breakdown, you should be proud of yourself because it’s so bloody difficult and exhausting.

I’m feeling a bit low at the moment – post New York blues, back to work and the real world.. and all that. But I have one day of work tomorrow, then my work do on Friday and then it’ll soon be Christmas!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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mmawardpost-1170x780So as you guys know – I write for a company called #MentalMovement. They are a Mental Health based site created to help and empower others. They have been an absolute muse for me this past year when I had really been struggling with my Mental Health and I would love to see them win!
They deserve it for their hard work and raw compassion for this cause and helping people!

Please, please take 60 seconds of your time to vote for them for the UK Blog Awards by following **THIS** link.

Thank you so much!



MY F.I.T Class – 02.12.16


What is F.I.T? (Don’t worry when I first saw the name, I was thinking the same thing!)

F.I.T stands for Functional Interval Training and is a form of ‘Functional Training’. FT was created to train the body for activities included in everyday life. I like to use a selection of weighted and body weight exercises to provide a variety of exercises. This improves your strength and endurance, as well as improving your cardivascular health.

“Strive for progress, not perfection!”

If you want to give this a go, please ensure you have close access to water at all times, and should you start to feel any dizziness, light-headedness or nausea please cease all activity immediately. Consult you Dr before participating in any further physical activity. Ensure you warm up properly before carrying out the workout. 5-8 minutes of cardiovascular exercise e.g. rowing machine or cross trainer are ideal to release any fluid in the joints and raise the heart rate.

Carry out each individual exercise for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, and then continue onto the next exercise. Once you have completed a round, rest for 1 minute and then continue onto the next round. (1, 2, 1, 2).

You can use just a standard timer but this is awkward as you have to keep an eye out, so I use an app from the Apple Store called ‘PushPress Timer Free’ which includes beeper and spoken cues. On the app – choose the ‘Tabata’ tab at the bottom of the screen and fill out the info as follows:

Prepare – :10 (to allow you to get into position once you’ve pressed start!)
Work – :45
Rest – :15
Rounds – 5
Cycles – 4
Rest Between Cycles – :45



Burpees (how to)
Crunches (how to)
Reverse Lunges (how to)
TRX Row (how to)
Plank (how to)


Barbell Shoulder Press (how to)
Side Lunges (how to)
Toe Touches (how to)
Donkey Kicks (how to)
Side Plank (Switch half way through – 22.5 secs) (how to)

Complete the session with a drink (preferably water!) and a gentle walk or jog around/on treadmill/cross trainer before a full body stretching session. Ideally your heart rate should be lower than 100 BPM (Beats per minute).

DISCLAIMER – You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. You should not participate in any physical activity if your Dr has advised you not to. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Gemma from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Gemma’s negligence.