(You literally can't get it wrong!)
Not sure whether 'Your Mental Health Workout' is for you? You can trial some of the helpful Daily and Weekly Workouts below to give you a taste of what to expect.
If you're ready to get started, it can be helpful to make a weekly and daily plan of how you intend to incorporate the exercises below and keep a journal of your progress. Think about the following: What felt easy or difficult? Where do you need more support? When does your motivation start to suffer?
Once you've got the book you'll find worksheets and journal guidance, as well as tons more information in the form of modifications, regressions and progressions of these exercises in order to make Your Mental Health Workout the best fit for you.
GRAB YOUR COPY HERE!
Weekly Workout #1
If we were about to start an intense gym session, you wouldn’t just grab the biggest weights and start pumping away (or you'd be spending the next couple of days nursing some serious aches and pains). Ideally, you'd probably look for guidance on how to start from someone who has the experience to help you create and maintain your goals.
Physically that usually comes in the form of a personal trainer or group fitness teacher. But for your mental health, that comes in the form of a therapist, counsellor or a safe reflective space you can share with another person.
Having somewhere or someone to help you help yourself and check in with you each week is exactly where we'll start.
Your first weekly workout is 1 x Therapeutic Space.
Most therapists are currently working online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which makes them super accessible. You can also cover this part of the workout through any kind of group therapy, reflective space, online meetings and coaching opportunities.
Weekly Workout #3
Now it's time to confuse the physical workout metaphor a little (sorry!). The next weekly workout is exactly that – a literal workout. It's no secret that physical exercise has a huge impact on your mental health and wellbeing. You don't have to jump straight in the deep end with a intense HIIT class though – exercises like dance, swimming, skipping, hula hooping or walking are perfect, too.
Your third weekly workout is 3 x 30 minutes per week of Cardiovascular Exercise.
Depending on your physical and emotional needs, you can take this up to 5 times per week. Keep your baseline at 3 and exercise good self-care if you feel unable to workout on any given day or week. Here are some ideas on how to make your physical workout more mind orientated:
1. Monitor how you feel about exercising.
2. Check in with your thoughts and feelings about your body.
3. Notice what happens to your mood if you skip a physical workout. What feelings and thoughts do you have? Are you using them to bully yourself into doing unwanted physical exercise?
Weekly Workout #4
The term 'self care' can get a bad rep, but there's an important place for it in our weekly mental health workouts. Our Self Care Workout comes in two parts: 2 x external self-care and 2 x internal self-care per week:
Your fourth weekly workout is 4 x Self-Care per week.
External self care activities are the things that make you feel nice – the treats, the pampering, the time out, etc. These things give you an opportunity to self soothe and reset your nervous system. However, stopping here gives yourself the message that something external will fix what is bothering you. Instead, you should use external self-care to create the space and time for you to also do the important internal work.
Internal self-care involves listening to yourself, being honest, brave and kind, changing the way you talk to yourself when you make mistakes, and forgiving yourself for the things you have done in an attempt to cope.
Using self-care as a tool gives you the message that you are worthwhile, and therefore supports your mental health and the integrity of your mind.
On the hunt for a therapeutic space to support your mental health journey, but not sure where to start? Here is a list of questions to help you narrow down your search:
1. Do you want 1:1 sessions or group sessions?
2. What gender would you prefer?
3. What age therapist would you prefer?
4. Do you need them to specialise in a specific thing? (e.g. anxiety or bulimia)
5. What do you want to get out of going to therapy?
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, most therapeutic spaces have moved online, which makes including therapy in your week much more accessible.
Here are some websites to check out if you're looking for a therapist here in the UK:
If you would like to try out going to a group, there are a number of focused free or low cost support groups available worldwide (here are the UK websites, but there will be a version of these available in most countries):
Sex and Love Addiction Anonymous
Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous
Adult Children of Alcoholics Anonymous
As the names suggest, these are a network of anonymous 12-step groups that tackle specific issues. If these are of interest to you, check out the websites and even go along to a meeting if you feel up to it. Recognise that walking into a room full of new people can be terrifying, but the programme and support they offer is
well worth facing your fears for!
Finding a way to exercise out of love and connection for your body (rather than out of punishment) can sometimes be a challenge . For those who are in recovery from any type of eating disorder, body image issues or exercise addiction, as well as those who are not, I suggest using exercise as a way to connect with your body and mind, rather than focusing only on the physical output.
Here are my top workouts in London:
PSYCLE - Has a great for a variety of workouts that you can tailor to work with your mood, mind and body.
BARRY'S - Offers you high intensity workouts that will challenge your mind and body.
ROWBOTS - The only HIIT workout I have come across that also offers a few minutes of theme-specific mindfulness to finish off your class.
STRENGTH HOUSE - Offers private strength training, injury rehab and nutrition advice all under one roof.
"I worked with Zoe for 6 months, prior to which I had always been quite sceptical about whether I would benefit from therapy . During that time she helped me to get to know myself, understand myself, and be kinder to myself.” - Dr Zoe Williams
‘Zoe’s techniques are easy and give great results. Her work has given me wonderful insight into how I can look after my mind and makes mental wellness feel accessible to everyone. I highly recommend Your Mental Health Workout to anyone who has the desire to improve their emotional health.’ - Pixie Lott
'Through Zoe’s work, I have developed a greater understanding of the importance of the muscles of the mind. If you want to make your journey through life easier, then the first step you need to take is to get to know yourself better and the full potential of your mind. Even at my age, I now know and am able to recognise the things that can be responsible for holding me back if I allow it to.' - Mr Motivator
This ebook is the small but mighty first aid kit you need in your back pocket 'just in case' - ready to help you find your way through a mental health crisis and prepare you for the full 5 week programme
(available May 2021)