This pandemic has taken a lot away from us, that much is clear. People have lost jobs, long-awaited plans have been thrown away, weddings were abandoned and funerals restricted, not to mention the nearly one million lives that have been tragically lost.
One of the things this pandemic has taught us though, is how important it is to look after our mental health, especially during these uncertain times. As we know, mental illness does not discriminate. Everyone and anyone can suffer with their mental health, and that’s completely normal.
Social media fitness coach, Joe Wicks took to Instagram last night to open up about his recent mental health struggles in a raw and relatable video, in a bid to break down the stigma.
“This video is all about mental health, and I’m hoping that by sharing it and being honest with you about how I’m feeling and how I’m struggling… it’s because there could be someone out there who is feeling the same and I want you to feel okay with that, and know that you’re not alone,” Joe started.
“This is such a tough time emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and I think it’s important to talk about it,” Joe prefaced, before he explained that he had just finished watching the press conference with UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in which he announced new Covid-19 related restrictions to be put in place in the UK.
“I can really feel for the first time, this is really taking effect now on my mental health. It’s bringing me down. I’m finding it hard to be optimistic. I’m finding it confusing, I feel like I don’t understand and I can’t even comprehend where the end is.”
“That feeling of powerlessness and confusion is quite a hard thing to deal with. The realisation that this isn’t going to go away tomorrow is really getting me down,” Joe admitted.
The Body Coach then went on to discuss exactly how this pandemic is affecting his mental health, saying, “I’m personally getting sensitive about other people as well. Knowing that small businesses are going to go under and restaurants are struggling — when I start to think about all the people that are going to be affected, that feeling and that energy brings me down so much.”
“I find it very hard to get excited about anything. I find it hard to be motivated to film workouts and do anything because it’s so difficult to be optimistic,” Joe revealed in his raw and honest video, before going on to talk about the power of exercising as a means to feel better.
“If you neglect your physical health, your mental health is just going to deteriorate even quicker. So you have to fight against that need and desire to just do nothing and be sad and unhappy. Because you can change the way you feel through exercise.”
Joe encouraged his followers to turn to fitness now more than ever, saying, “For your own mental health, do not neglect your fitness, use it. It’s an amazing way of changing the way you feel.”
“So I’m going to go do a workout now, because I’m just feeling really down… and I hope that you know that you’re not alone, if you think you’re the only one who feels this way,” Joe concluded.
Friends and fans of The Body Coach were quick to comment their appreciation and praise for Joe’s raw honesty. “Relatable. On so many levels. On behalf of everyone who needs to hear it - thanks for this,” Professor Green wrote.
Meanwhile, TV presenter and former JLS star, Marvin Humes commented, “Well done for sharing this Joe it will help a lot of people..you’re a great man and inspire so many..big love.”
Joe’s strength and courage is beyond admirable. People who open up about their mental health are helping beat the stigma surrounding it.