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This is my first column since March. It would be fair to say that a lot has happened since then, but I have struggled with what to write about. What should I focus this piece on? What do people need to hear?

I am not one to dwell on the past, to beat around the bush or to shirk challenges. We all have our own daily struggles, and I don’t mind admitting that I have struggled a lot this year.

On that note, I will not be discussing the last 9 months and certainly won’t pretend that I can tell you what we could or should have done differently or better. I will not be mentioning any amazing diets we should have followed from Instagram or the workouts you could have been doing in your living room.

The past is the past and if you are reading this then you are living in the present – the here and now.

And that is all that matters.

I am going to focus on Mental Wealth. Not health, wealth!

Mental Health is something we need to nurture yet Mental Wealth is something we use to begin the process.

We all know by now the effect that our state of mind has on our workouts, our eating habits and our lifestyle in general; anything from what time we wake up in the morning to keeping up with general tasks and housekeeping.

You might be wondering what this has to do with health and fitness? The answer is…everything!

For example, ask yourself what things you need in order to be fit and healthy?

Building a wealth of motivational and inspirational tools is a start, and that is exactly what I’m going to talk about.

A simple example is a playlist of music that you use for certain workouts. Simply by listening to certain songs you may find yourself feeling instantly motivated or inspired.

I, myself have a collection of self-help and psychology books which I like to refer to when I’m feeling stressed or anxious. These are just a couple of tools you can use, and the more you have, the more mentally wealthy you will become. The richer your mental wealth, the easier it is to tackle any challenge.

If you’re having an off day, you’re feeling a bit depressed, tired or simply can’t be bothered – you can refer to your Mental Wealth toolbox and overcome any obstacle to get you through whatever is in your way – whether that is a workout, a diet, a stressful meeting at work, or for some of you…just getting up off the couch.

If you don’t have a Mental Wealth Toolbox you are welcome to borrow some tools from mine:

Books – I would recommend ‘Surrounded by Idiots’ by Thomas Erikson and ‘The Chimp Paradox’ by Steve Peters. These two books complement each other nicely and will help you to understand why your mind works the way it does and how you can use logic over emotion to drive you through your day.

Motivational Videos – If you like motivational speaking then you will have probably heard of self-help guru Tony Robbins. Personally, I love his stuff and recommend it highly. Another great person to listen to is Jim Rohn, who is not-so-coincidently Tony Robbins’ mentor.

Music – We all dance to a different beat, metaphorically and literally. There is nothing more off putting than the endless advertisements on radio stations so a simple playlist of your favourite or most motivational tunes is sometimes all you need to get in the zone.

Financial planning – This might be a conversation to have properly another day, but you should all agree that if your finances aren’t in order then it is going to be very difficult for your mindset to be. For many people there is nothing more stressful or off putting than seeing a minus in the bank account, or having a bill hanging over you. There are plenty of tools out there such as ‘Money Saving Expert’ and independent financial advisers giving their advice for free! Use it. There is an old saying, “we are not poor, we are broke” – I don’t know about you, but I definitely know a few people who can’t pay their phone bill each month but they still manage to smoke three packs of cigarettes a week…just saying.

Smoothies – Ok, so this one usually takes a small amount of effort, but on those days when I simply have no energy or feel out of sorts I have been known to throw a hand full of frozen fruit and an orange into the blender, glug it down and let the goodness do its work. I can almost guarantee that you will feel the benefits of doing the same.

Role Models – This is such a simple one – Find successful people that inspire you. Read about them. Then do what they did to get to where they are. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a classic example of this. In a recent documentary he acknowledged that Reg Park was one of his idol’s. Arnold found Reg’s blueprint and used it to make the necessary changes to his life. The rest is history, but I would advise you to choose your role models carefully.

There are many, many tools that you can use to mentally inspire you. Maybe your family or kids are your motivation to strive?  Whatever your inspiration is, use the tools you have put in place to take action, and to build on your mental wealth in order to conquer mental health.

If there is one thing I do know it is that nothing could have prepared us for this past year. But next time something stressful or traumatic happens we can all be better placed to tackle it head on and come out the other side stronger than ever before.

Train hard. Eat well. And stay safe.


By Kurtis Stacey