As Joe Wicks admits feeling low, these resources can help if you need a chat
Joe Wicks, who has just started another 'term' of online classes for kids and families in lockdown, is encouraging people to talk about their feelings
LIKE so many of us, Joe Wicks is finding another lockdown mentally challenging. The fitness instructor and healthy-eating advocate, known as The Body Coach, broke down in tears in a recent Instagram video, saying: “It really hit me tonight how long this has gone on. You can be the most upbeat person, but it'll catch you – it'll creep up on you when you're not expecting it, and that's what I feel like.”
He added: “I'm trying to let you know that it's OK to feel upset and down right now, and it's OK to not be this really strong person all the time. I think the most important thing is probably to chat to people, communicate, reach out to your family.”
“I don't have anxiety or depression, but right now I feel so low, so down, and I know it's going to pass – it's a phase – but there are people out there who are going to be feeling way worse, and that's what really affects my emotions,” Wicks said.
The 35-year-old emphasised the need to stay positive and connected over the next few weeks and months.
During the first lockdown in April last year, the Mental Health Foundation found one in four people experienced feelings of loneliness – compared to one in 10 before restrictions set in. It also found young people between 18 and 24 were most likely to feel lonely, with almost half experiencing these feelings.
The new lockdown can feel daunting, so it's a good idea to take Wicks's advice and talk about your feelings, rather than keeping them bottled up. If you or someone you care about is in crisis or despair it is important to get help quickly. In urgent cases call the Lifeline freephone helpline 0808 808 8000, call your GP surgery or go to your nearest A&E department. For more information visit https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/mental-health-emergency-if-youre-crisis-or-despair
If you're looking for someone to chat to more generally, these resources might help…
If you want to talk to someone with no judgment or pressure, the Samaritans (samaritans.org) phone line (116 123) is free and open 24 hours a day. If you're finding it hard to articulate your feelings out loud, there's also the option to write an email. If you message email@example.com, you'll receive a response within 24 hours.
Everything is free and confidential. Samaritans says: “People contact us with all sorts of concerns and what might be a small issue to you, may be huge to someone else.
“You could be going through something new or have been struggling to cope for some time, either way, we're here if you feel you need some extra support.”
CALM (thecalmzone.net) – the Campaign Against Living Miserably – is the movement against suicide, particularly focusing on the fact 75 per cent of suicides in Britain and Northern Irelanc are male.
You can call the helpline on 0800 58 58 58 and chat to a trained support worker between 5pm and midnight every day, or you can speak to someone online through the webchat.
If you're struggling with the new restrictions, CALM recommends staying connected with your friends and family, focusing on the things you can control (like going for a run or watching your favourite TV show), getting some consistency in your days, and remembering to be kind to yourself.
Turn2me (turn2me.ie) is an Irish charity providing support for people struggling with their mental health. It has a range of services you can choose to suit your needs – including counselling sessions you can do via email, video or instant messaging, and anonymous support groups.
The services are free for people in Ireland; anyone outside is asked to provide a small donation.
:: Rethink Mental Illness
There are plenty of ways you can chat to someone at Rethink Mental Illness (rethink.org). Its web chat function is available between 10am and 1pm Monday to Friday, you can get in contact via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or letter, and the phone lines (0300 5000 927) are open for calls and texts between 9:30am and 4pm during the week.
Not only does the charity provide support for those struggling, but it is also there for anyone caring for someone with poor mental health.