I didn’t thrive in lockdown - By Henry Saye

I have no qualifications or expertise in dealing with mental health.

I turn 41 next month. I guess I have a bit of life experience, but not that much more than you.

I didn’t thrive in lockdown. I didn’t use lockdown as an opportunity to better myself. Lockdown sucked.

There is no other way to put it. I hated it.

I always thought I had good mental health, but what I didn’t know is that I was doing things to keep it in a good place.

In lockdown I gained weight, spent far too much money online purely out boredom, had trouble sleeping and became moody and irritable.

I really missed the gym and was told countless times by people who’d never used a gym that ‘you don’t need a gym to get fit’, but they didn’t understand that I enjoyed it, that it set me up for the day and linked in with me eating better.

I also found the gym a brilliant way to use up any negative energy carried over from work or any other stresses in my life.

You don’t need a gym to get fit. You also don’t need shoes to walk, but they help. Don’t ever feel like you have to justify your passion to anyone.

It’s something you enjoy. Another thing I lost was simply having something to look forward to. This could be anything from a holiday, going out for a meal or simply going to the cinema.

For me, this gives me something to look forward to. My late grandfather once told me you reap the benefits of a holiday all year.

You look forward to it and then when you come back you are re-charged and ready to crack on with the rest of the year. Nothing like going somewhere sunny when it’s the middle of winter.

I like going away, but it doesn’t have to be something extreme or massively expensive. Just a little city break in Europe or the UK just gives you a chance to have a change of scenery for a few days.

As I’m writing this, I’m struggling to think of the last time I went to the cinema. I used to go a few times per month and it always gave me something to look forward to at the end of the week.

If you struggled in lockdown, don’t worry, most of us did. The only tips I can give is find a form of exercise you enjoy because it’s a brilliant way to let go of any negative energy you’re holding onto.

Have something to look forward to weekly and a few special things throughout the year. Things are getting back to normal and I’m already feeling much better.

Let’s hope that lockdowns are now a thing of the past – I think they are. Now is the time to fill up your diary with loads of things to look forward to.