Mental Health & the Holidays

As someone who works in fitness and wellness, I often feel like I have to have it all together and be some sort of “perfect” example of health for others. This may be true on some level and I think that it is important as coaches that we practice what we preach. However, on a much more real note, I often still struggle with my own mental health and I need to be honest about that.  

There are days when I wake up and I am in my head and can’t make sense of my thoughts and I have no idea what made me feel this way?! Luckily, today I am able to identify my patterns of behavior and I am able to check in with myself and respond in a healthy, productive way.  

How am I resting, eating, exercising, hydrating?  

Have I been isolating, or have I been allowing myself to be a part of a community?  

What time of year is it, do you have loved ones you are missing, do you have financial stresses right now, etc.

I feel that as a coach I need to create a safe space for people and that if I’m not transparent about where I’m at I can’t be as effective as I always would like to be.  With this being said I want to tell you that it’s okay. You don’t have to be at the top of your game every day.  I am not always at the top of my game either. I have, however, learned that when I am not feeling my best I need to check in with myself and be honest with what is going on in my life. 

The holiday season can be a particularly stressful time of year for me and a lot of other people.  People are missing loved ones who are no longer with us, some have broken family relationships, financial stresses, and so many other things.  For me this is the time of year (18 years ago) when I was at the darkest place in my life and a drug and alcohol addiction had left me with a situation where my wife was 6 months pregnant with our son.  She had kicked me out of the house and I was living in my car. I was only able to see a few ways out of my current situation and suicide sounded like it could possibly be my best choice.  My other choice was to go back to rehab for the 3rd time.  I was lucky enough to check myself into rehab again. I know a lot of people aren’t lucky enough to get that many chances.  I was broken and beat up enough this time.  I knew I had a child on the way and I was not living in a way that I would be able to make my son proud of me. I finally started to live my life differently.  

Everything from the weather, the holiday hustle and bustle, the music, the lights, and all of the other things that come with the season, are all memories of that dark lonely space I used to live in daily. However much gratitude I have for the life I currently have and love, I can still be blind sided with emotions during this time of year. 

Check in with your people and see if they are okay, someone close to you could be struggling?  Be honest about your feelings and where you are currently at in your life and the thoughts and feelings you’ve been having. Don’t think you are being a burden or that you are bothering someone by being honest and open. I know the value of having the people in my life that I can check in with and be honest about where I am at.  I am here and open to talk to anyone and I know I am not the only one who would love to listen to someone who is hurting.  If you don’t want to talk with me or if you feel weird about reaching out, I get that also but if you don’t reach out to me reach out to someone.  

You are important

You are seen 

You are loved 

You are wanted 

Nick Smith, UDC Wellness Expert

IG: fit_nick_lv



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