Those of you who have followed my blog from the early days will be aware of how I was feeling this time two years ago. Since then I’m nowhere near as bad as I was and I put this down to two things; my family (in particular my wife) and cycling.

Cycling for a lot of people is more than just a form of physical exercise. It’s about the feelings you get during and after a ride. British Cyclist Sarah Bentley can’t have put it any better…

You are one ride away from a good mood

Sarah Bentley – British Cyclist

It’s true. Cycling not only is a way to physical fitness, but it can help hugely with mental fitness too. When I’ve been for a ride I feel happy and energetic. If I sit on the sofa I feel down and it only ever gets worse.

So for this month, I am going to aim to cycle every day to raise some sort of awareness for mental wellbeing. We’re heading into Winter in the northern hemisphere now and it’s this time of year when things can start to get you down.

The shorter days can bring on conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This conditional typically starts through Autumn and Winter, but then disappears through Spring and Summer. Symptoms can include;

  • a persistent low mood
  • a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
  • irritability
  • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
  • sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • craving carbohydrates and gaining weight

There are other more serious symptoms, such as depression. Many people don’t know they have it as symptoms can be mild. They can also come and go, so it may not be something that you’re feeling constantly through the darker months.

My aim this month is to raise awareness of mental issues that often show at this time of year, even more so with the year humanity has had to deal within 2020.

If you like you can join me. You don’t have to ride, you can run, read or even row (if you really want to) every day for a month.

If you want more information on the Seasonal Affective Disorder, see the NHS webpage all about it HERE.