Walking the Dog

Exercise is good for you. That’s what they say. Everywhere you look somebody is drumming into you about the benefits of exercise and fresh air.

They are right of course. As much as I like to bury myself under a duvet and curl up in front of the TV, I have to admit a good walk does me wonders.

Why is this? A quick google search and the nhs website shows us huge list of the benefits. It can lessen your chances of getting a range of illnesses including diabetes and heart disease.

There is also a link with exercise easing depression.

The black dog, as it’s sometimes called, is an awful thing to live with. Anybody who has never suffered finds it hard to understand.

1 in just 4 people will suffer some sort of mental health issue in their lifetime. That is a huge percentage.

Still it is something that people are made to feel ashamed about. Yes things have come on leaps and bounds and social media is filled with #mentalhealthawareness days, but it’s still something that doesn’t flow in conversation.

People still keep their black dog locked away. Hiding. Ashamed of it. But why? Why do people feel ashamed over something they can’t control.

If somebody was diagnosed with diabetes, something else that can lived with and managed with medication and good diet, they wouldn’t think twice before bringing it up in conversation if they wanted to.

If you don’t suffer with depression, you will know somebody who does. I used to walk around blinkered. Remember when someone says they are ok, there is a good chance they aren’t. I’m not saying to push them to talk, they may not want to, but just letting them know you are there may be the help they need.

If you do suffer, don’t suffer alone. I’m no expert of course but I do think talking about things makes them less of an issue. A problem shared is a problem halved. Don’t be afraid to reach out. When you are having a bad day, don’t make excuses. Just tell people you are struggling. They will 9 times out of 10 offer to help.

So next time it appears, take that black dog out for a walk. You never know, it might do you some good.

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